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The Long Silence of the Mohawk Carpet Smokestacks

Stephen Haven

These brilliantly descriptive poems begin where the author did, in the town of Amsterdam, New York, along the Mohawk River, among hard childhood memories of a factory town beginning to shut down. Along with the trails through the industrial wilderness, the river, the bars, and the young poet's preparations for escape, we see his preacher father and the tragedy-laden family life that finally yields him up. Later the poet pauses to treat another kind of New England background, the "Puritan graveyard" of the seventeenth century, imaginatively recreating the distant ghosts that still enter his thoughts in Provincetown at the Millennium. Finally, in the section "Homework," his thoughts return to his birthplace, as he seeks to reconcile his memories of home with his departure and survival.


Stephen Haven is professor of English at Ashland University in Ohio, where he edits the Ashland Poetry Press and co-directs the writing program. He has twice served as a Fulbright lecturer in Beijing, China.

Published By West End Press

6 x 9 in. 80 pages