A Different Heaven by Don Schofield


Celebrating four decades of living in Greece, A DIFFERENT HEAVEN: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS joins the more prominent poems from the author’s  five previous collections (three full length books and two chapbooks) with more recent work and a sampling of translations from modern Greek that have influenced his writing and continue to resonate off it.

Taken together, the poems in this collection chart one American’s experience of living in a part of the world where the ancient and modern, the urban and rural, and the mythical and mundane intermingle in wondrous and sometimes disconcerting ways.

As the poems go deeper into the land, language and culture the author has come to embrace, they engage in an ongoing dialogue with such ancients as Homer, Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle.  Other poems speak in the voice of marginalized biblical figures, such as Hagar, Joseph and Lazarus.  Earlier free verse looks out at the world from within Egyptian sarcophagi and beneath the gilded surface of Byzantine icons.  More recent blank verse and sonnets interact with shepherds and poets; painters and refugees; archaeologists, cemetery workers and assorted others who people the landscape that he now calls home.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 246
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: August, 2023
  • ISBN 978-1-953252-86-9


For the past three decades Don Schofield has been writing and publishing the deeply affecting and finely crafted poems gathered here in a single volume, poems “determined by nothing / but rhythm,” the rhythm of our lives as we lean into “the glittering present.” Ranging from his adopted Greece with its cries of lambs—I aam, I aam—and its refugee camps to Nepal where he watches “a tiger eating what remained of a baby water buffalo” to Hart Island in NY with its “unclaimed dead in their plywood coffins” to the dusty Fresno of his violent boyhood where he imagines a place “where love isn’t fear,” these poems cast a precise eye on the natural landscape and our place in it: “You can tell we’re humans / by our short-billed caps.” A Different Heaven is a book best read slowly to savor the “gentle lure” of these necessary and enduring poems. —Michael Waters

Wherever the poem comes from—from the poet’s earthly place, I mean: say, Nevada, Montana, Italy, Greece, Egypt. anywhere—in the case of Don Scofield’s work, the poem comes from somewhere the reader will recognize as implicitly true, minutely accurate, and abundantly beautiful. This is work by a man as in love with language as he is with the world and with this earth. You will be moved; you’ll be astonished.  You’ll be very glad you read this book. —Robert Wrigley

I have been reading Don Schofield’s work for quite a few years, and this new and selected volume, A Different Heaven, is, without a doubt, significant. The poems are dazzling in their clarity, fearless in how they confront the world, and beautiful in the way they find and celebrate love.  A Different Heaven reflects Schofield’s handpicked, concise selection, showcasing writing rich with intelligence and eros and the kind of simplicity that engages the reader in the first few lines. —Thomas Mitchell


Howling Man and His Young
From an Eskimo sculpture

Howling Man no longer roams frozen fields,
at night no longer measures mouth
against black expanse, for Howling Man
no longer has mouth, teeth, snout.
His young bulge from his cheeks
wet, stiff-lipped, green like clay
or fresh grass. They sleep
curled amid she-wolves and lap dogs,
serpents crackling in the fire.
A man of quiet concerns,
I go through the day, hands
behind my back, fill the spaces
left by others. My young
are still inside me
lodged between my legs.
Sometimes I hold them in my hands,
feel their flesh wrinkle,
the grating of hairs,
the shuffling of bodies.
Nights, a new moon rolls in my sleep,
yellow galleons course through my chest,
black hairs stroke the liquid night
like upturned legs. There’s a breathing
inside my breathing, a listening
beneath my listening. I awake
and hear a howl rising to my green tongue—
the voice of my young
shattering the night.
The voice of my young, like blank bullets
at a black mirror.


Don SchofieldBorn in Nevada and raised in California, Don Schofield is a graduate of the University of Montana (MFA, 1980).  He has lived in Greece for four decades, during which time he has taught literature and creative writing at American, British and Greek universities, and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and farther afield.  Fluent in Greek, a citizen of both his homeland and his adopted country, he is the editor of the anthology Kindled Terraces:  American Poets in Greece (Truman State University Press), and has published five books of poetry in the U.S., the first of which, Approximately Paradise (University Press of Florida), was a finalist for the 1985 Walt Whitman Award, and a more recent collection, In Lands Imagination Favors (Dos Madres Press), reached the final round for the 2015 Rubery Book Award (UK).  His translations of contemporary Greek poets have been honored by the London Hellenic Society, shortlisted for the Greek National Translation Award and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  He currently lives in both Athens and Thessaloniki.

Additional information

Weight 15.6 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .75 in