The Road to Emmaus

Poems by Spencer Reece

  • Published: Sep 14, 2020

Longlisted for the National Book Award A moving, subtle sequence of narrative poems, from a sharp new poetic voice Two strangers walk toward Emmaus. Christ has just been crucified, and they are heartbrokenuntil a third man joins them on the road and... read more

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Details of The Road to Emmaus

Exact title of the book
The Road to Emmaus
Book author
Spencer Reece
ISBN
9780374280857
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Apr 01, 2014
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
File size (in PDF)
1296 kB

Some brief overview of book

Longlisted for the National Book Award A moving, subtle sequence of narrative poems, from a sharp new poetic voice Two strangers walk toward Emmaus. Christ has just been crucified, and they are heartbrokenuntil a third man joins them on the road and comforts them. Once they reach Emmaus and break bread, the pair realizes they have been walking with Christ himself.

But in the moment they recognize him, he disappears. Spencer Reece draws on this tender story in his mesmerizing collectionone that fearlessly confronts love and its loss, despair and its consolation, and faith in all of its various guises. Reece's central figure in The Road to Emmaus is a middle-aged man who becomes a priest in the Episcopal Church; these poems follow him to New York City, to Honduras, to a hospital where he works as a chaplain, to a prison, to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

With language of simple, lyrical beauty that gradually accrues weight and momentum, Reece spins compelling dramas out of small moments the speaker, living among a group of orphans, wondering "Was it true, what they said, that a priest is a house lit up?"; two men finding each other at a Coming Out Group; a man trying to become visible after a life that had depended on not being seen. A yearning for connection, an ache of loneliness, and the instant of love disappearing before our eyes haunt this long-awaited second collection from Spencer Reece.

About author

Reece is a poet and priest. His first collection, The Clerk's Tale, won the Bakeless Prize in 2003. He has received an NEA grant, a Guggenheim grant, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, a Whiting Writers' Award, and the Amy Lowell Travelling Scholarship.

His poems have been published in The New Yorker, Poetry, The American Scholar, and The New Republic. He served at the Honduran orphanage Our Little Roses, and works for the Bishop of Spain at the Reformed Episcopal Church, Iglesia EspaƱola Reformada Episcopal.

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