February 6, 2021

Book Spotlight: Beneath the Falls by Mark D. Bennion

Beneath the Falls: Poems

by Mark D. Bennion 

Genre: Poetry

Length: 102 pages

Published: December 16, 2020

Purchase Links: Amazon, Wipf and Stock Publishers


Official Description:

"In its own modest way, Beneath the Falls celebrates the archetypal journey of birth, death, and change. These poems grapple with upheaval and peace, tragedy and renewal, estrangement and conversion. This collection explores how belief is born in simplicity, mundaneness, struggle, and seeming irrelevancies. The complexities of faith then arise in the face of death, specifically the passing of situations, others, old selves, and our loved ones. Birth becomes death, which in turn creates birth again. Change happens both incrementally and immediately in this fascicle of poems, showing us God's ample mercies, vital nudgings, and watershed moments along life's way."

About the Author:

"Mark D. Bennion teaches writing and literature courses in the English Department at Brigham Young University-Idaho. His poems have been published in Aethlon, The Lyric, RHINO, Windhover, and other journals. In addition to this book, he has authored two previous collections of poetry: Psalm & Selah: A Poetic Journey through the Book of Mormon and Forsythia. He and his wife, Kristine, are raising their children in the Upper Snake River Valley."

Early Reviews:

“There is quality in this collection. It comes to the reader from the ‘magician’s fiery pot.’ Whether pecking at some ‘horseradish heavy breather’ he worries about finding his daughter on the internet to the pure translation of faith, his steadfast gaze gives us a complex world. Bennion handles the grit as well as the sacred. His work is full of wonder as he decides ‘what to gather, what to leave in the sun.’”

—Diane Glancy, author of Island of the Innocent: A Consideration of the Book of Job

“In the opening poem of Mark Bennion’s new book he imagines his mother the first morning after his birth, ‘you cradle me in the yellow haze / after a fitful night.’ . . . And the poem ends with a powerful recognition that he was not the ‘real star’ of the day, but only part of something much bigger, ‘a constellation I am just now beginning to see.’ This wonderful recognition becomes a guiding principle the reader can see and feel at work throughout the book, although in order to understand the full force of the recognition it is necessary to experience the backstory and the growing pains, to relearn and re-earn such insight. That is what these poems do, they give us the authentic lived details that lead to a true and affirmative vision.”

—Greg Pape, Montana Poet Laureate (2007–2009) and author of Four Swans

Beneath the Falls showcases Mark Bennion both as a keen observer of all the world around him and as a composer skilled with language’s sounds. For all their biographical content and specificity, these poems speak clearly to the range of human experience, welcoming readers rather than alienating them."

—Nathaniel Lee Hansen, editor of The Windhover


Click here to hear a recent radio interview of the author speaking about his book.

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