- Kind: Perfectbound
- Pages: 86
- Language: English
- Date Published: December, 2015
- ISBN: 978-1-939929-49-5
Praise for Lord’s Own Anointed
Kevin Cutrer’s Lord’s Own Anointed is, I suppose, regional poetry, and Southern regional poetry at that. Most of us have a sense of what that means, whether in Old Guard or Revisionist formulations. Cutrer moves beyond this, not so much by ignoring the history and often fraught culture of the region-its religious fundamentalism and the violence in its past, as well as its cadences of speech and narrative-but by demonstrating a seemingly effortless command of them. Cutrer’s South is neither a magnolia-strewn Old South nor a neoliberal New South, but rather a place of school days and Coke machines where real people lead real lives. I recognize Cutrer’s world intimately, and I admire his masterful evocation of it in this sterling book. —Quincy R. Lehr
As if Robert Frost had been transposed to the rural Louisiana of Kevin Cutrer’s boyhood, these poems seek out the stories of hardship and grace behind a small town’s ‘characters’-often in blank verse so natural, it could have been overheard at a truck stop or honky-tonk. Keep an eye on this young poet, who has a big gift equal to his big heart. —Julie Kane
In Kevin Cutrer’s world someone can get the Spirit from a blow on the head with a 2 x 4, or simply because his mother teaches him to read while she answers business calls on the phone, or because he realizes he has to love his brother, despite the man’s ugly transgressions. It is a world of wrenching authenticity, of the near lethal transition from innocence to experience, when as one of his memorable characters says, “knowledge / will bite you like a snake.” The poet claims in one poem to be “an unsound witness of my own life.” But Lord’s Own Anointed shows us that Cutrer has been watching passionately, accurately, and soundly all along. —Mark Jarman
I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book so finely crafted yet so full of surprises as Kevin Cutrer’s Lord’s Own Anointed. The perfection of form and voice lends these poems the familiarity of Frost, Robinson, and Browning while the down-home truth of grits, gravy, preachers, and yard dogs make Cutrer’s lines undoubtedly fresh and unmistakably original. Poem after poem, Lord’s Own Anointed reads like a fine cartography of setting and character, an intimate tour through Cutrer’s piney Louisiana past. Part scribe, part lyricist, and part psalmist, Cutrer is the rare artist capable of bringing a place to us both in full throat and in whisper. —Jack B. Bedell
Excerpt from Lord’s Own Anointed
My mother’s pearls are swine, a menagerie
of cartoon pigs she bought from catalogs.
They pose on nightstands as she wipes away
the family’s careless dust with Pledge and song.
She sings to two embracing by the window
that looks out from the kitchen sink to daylight,
or gives her face back on the face of night.
These lovers are, of course, her love and her.
That laughing one with fishing pole, straw hat,
and denim overalls is him made over.
That one’s her, with a gingham apron on.
The faucet whispers over dishes. TV
talks to her from the living room, the usual:
more floods in distant lands, the Wheel of Fortune.
I don’t know when she started buying pigs.
Only lately have I come to learn
the need to keep some trifles for their charm,
how the TV’s loudest when it’s off.
About the Author
Kevin Cutrer was born in the American South, has lived in South America, and now resides in the southernmost neighborhood of Boston. His run-ins with higher education have occurred at Southeastern Louisiana University and Emerson College. The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, The Raintown Review, and many other journals have published his poems, and he has been a featured reader for the reading series Mr. Hip Presents, U35, and Carmine Street Metrics. He shares news about his work and links to work that interests him at kevincutrer.com.