The Household Gods
Daniel Bourne was born in Wynoose, IL, near the Little Walbash River, and grew up on a farm. In 1979 he received a B.A. from Indiana University, followed by an M.F.A. in creative writing from Indiana. He spent 1982-1983 in Poland on a graduate exchange program, and returned there in 1985-1987 on a Fulbright fellowship to work on translations; since 1987 he has returned several times to work with Polish writers. His translations have appeared widely in journals and anthologies. He now teaches at the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH, where he lives with his wife Margaret.
“In this powerful and arresting collection, Daniel Bourne explores, among other things, the dailiness of violence—the sow who eats her own young, the cousin whose hands are severed in a farm accident, the neighbor blinded by wood alcohol, a pond’s demise, a father’s cancer, the small and large deaths. And he finds in these meditations on morality cause to embrace the consolations of memory and the transforming power of the imagination. With compassionate intelligence, wit and whimsy, Bourne celebrates the ‘dark festivities’ in his richly textured and memorable first book.” –Ron Wallace
“Dan Bourne’s poems begin in place—southern Illinois farmland, to be precise—and with discoveries made there they branch out into ways of human vulnerability found anywhere. They are alert to the fragile borders between the rational and the irrational, between the order of an open mind and the disorder of a closed one. They pick up ‘the splinter of metaphor’ with exactness. The ‘cost of the image’ is sometimes high, but then so are the stakes. These are generous, unflinching poems.” –Roger Mitchell
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Bourne, Daniel, "The Household Gods" (1995). CSU Poetry Center Books. 57.