How It Is : Selected Poems
"Although Neil Shepard has long been associated with the stony foundations of Vermont, both by his luminous invocations of the natural world and his Frost-worthy, densely woven lyricism, he has emerged over the course of his writing life as an intrepid, wise and wry observer of the larger world. His poems are expansive, meticulous in their emotional cartography, and always historically resonant while still discovering those troubled reckonings of the self in motion, in travel. What emerges is nothing less than an ethical aesthetic, a narrative architecture that constellates around a strong moral center even as, at times, the poet's confidence in that center quietly dissolves in the deep bath of experience. Yet this impeccably crafted collection remains the voice of a mature, hard-won, and individual poetic resolve."--David St. John.
"Authentic, eloquent, and moving, How It Is, is a volume that one can wholeheartedly recommend and deserves to be widely read. A poet of rare, one might even say, unfashionable seriousness, Shepard is ambitious and insightful."--David Cooke, Manhattan Review