Remembering the Body

A son trying to outgrow a father, a sinner reckoning with saints, Alan Berecka evokes ancient Greece, summons Corpus Christi, quickens Wordsworth and wrestles with God. You will laugh and cry as you read these poems, but most of all, you will think what a good and haunting thing it is to be human.

Ken Hada, author of Spare Parts and The Way of the Wind

Alan Berecka’s Remembering the Body is one of the few poetry books I couldn’t put down. These poems are high-energy, driving narratives that range from hilarious vignettes to poignant episodes of loss and injustice—and now and then one of these small, complete stories manages to be both. Berecka’s special gift is a twisty irony that hauls your eyelids up. Try reading the first poem, “The Evolving Case for De-evolution,” with a straight face. Peopled with characters you would love to meet or avoid, the poems are mocking and meta- physical, quizzical, sometimes angry, sometimes shoulder-shruggingly acceptant, sometimes romantic and sometimes cynical—but always intriguing.

Janet McCann, Professor of English Texas A&M

Alan Berecka’s poems reveal truth in microcosm…and a pure heart weaving allegories that range from his native northern land to Texas. These poems will never die because truths are the same at all times in every heart…Because Alan’s poetry is easily under- stood, some may misunderstand how superb a poet he is. It is hard to find words better organized to generate emotions than one sees and feels in Remembering the Body.

Cleatus Rattan, 2004 Texas Poet Laureate

Cover Art by Gerardo J. Cobarruvias


Benjamin Meyers:
 “Finding your voice” is a writing cliché second in prominence perhaps only to “write what you know.” Yet, as a reader, one does look for poetry that in some way distinguishes itself from the crowd of contemporary voices. Alan Berecka’s new book does just that, moving beyond a distinct “voice” to offer something even more rare: a discernible poetic personality. Berecka’s poems seem, to borrow a metaphor from Montaigne, consubstantial with the poet, displaying a unique mind and distinct viewpoint on the world. The personality enlivening Remembering the Body is witty and clear-sighted yet also conflicted and, above all, empathetic…

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