“Uncontainable Noise and Overpass make tremendous strides in establishing Davenport as one of the most innovative and important poets working within the New Formalist class of poetry.” —PoemoftheWeek.org
From the back cover:
“Miles Davis and Josephine Baker (both from Steve Davenport’s East St. Louis) make brief appearances in Overpass but linger in the reader’s mind as figures for Davenport’s new poems: brilliantly improvisatory as well as stunningly energetic and daring. Moreover, like the speaker in “True Confessions,” who is counting syllables for a poem while playing softball, we are led to believe that this may be one of those rare occasions in poetry where life and art are happening simultaneously, and I don’t think it gets much better than that.” –B. H. Fairchild
“Welcome to a dirty fistful of midwestern swan songs, rendered by a hand factoried out of the abandoned fields of America’s heartland. Steve Davenport has taken the slapdash lexicon of a mortally wounded industrial base and stitched, jammed, jumbled and creased together this searing collaboration of form and function. Take this 100 proof rotgut cure and pour its sound slow out your mouth into your shot glass memory. But be careful…. Wander around in these scarecrow fields full of almost forgotten history, and you just might end up loving Davenport’s territory like ‘a song / about trouble and people staying put / despite the spills that pool under their feet.’” –Tyehimba Jess
“Steve Davenport’s Overpass takes us on an exuberant journey across the Illinois floodplain known as the Bottom, whose features include “factory cutbacks and closings, / refineries and strip clubs needing paint.” Davenport’s muse and central figure is Overpass Girl, whose cancer becomes a kind of metaphor for this “dirt cursed with industry and blood.” A sequence of curtal sonnets, with a few sassy sestinas and other forms mixed in, Overpass creates a startling and delightful tension between its richly gritty content, and a craft that crashes through its own formal restraints with deft use of wordplay, syntax, allusion, and joyful sound.” –Martha Collins
“A devastating collection, full of terror and wild humor, anger, and song.” –Kathleen Kirk, Prick of the Spindle Read all about it.
“One gets the sense that Steve Davenport composed much of Overpass while soaking in a bathtub, nursing a tumbler of whiskey. If this sounds like a compliment, it’s meant to be—the close intimacy, the contained debauchery, and the deep introspection in this collection compellingly establish the narrator’s personality.” –Alex Starace, TriQuarterly See the entire review here.
“Davenport’s poems rise in intensity until the curtal form can no longer contain their energy.” –Kyle Minor, American Book Review Here’s the review.
“This gritty collection is perfect for readers who are familiar with the Illinois floodplain (across the Mississippi River from St. Louis) and will recognize names mentioned in the poems, from East St. Louis to Alton, from Miles Davis to Robert Wadlow. Even Cahokia Mounds and Sauget get a mention.” –Margo L. Dill, The News-Gazette Read the article here.
“I can’t stop reading ‘The Sestina Has Been Sinking’ by Steve Davenport, which does so many amazing things I’d really, really love to do.” –Karen Marie, Conceptual Reception See blog entry here.