Running at Night, a Collection of Poetry by Ned Randle

running_at_nightRunning at Night: Collected Poems 1976-2012 ($10.95, 106 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-164-4) is a collection of fifty-nine poems from the past thirty-three years of poet Ned Randle’s life.

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“At their best, Randle’s poems evoke a connection with the land that reads as true and absolute. He solidifies the thoughts and lives of imagined earlier inhabitants with grace and empathy, such as in his series ‘The Illinois Poems.’ … The book has a settled consistency of tone and pace that clears a way for readers to navigate an expansive world of corners and hills. And readers may find themselves compelled onward, much like the runner in the titular poem, by the steadiness of Randle’s composition.”

—Theodosia Henney, Cactus Heart Literary Journal

“Among my whip-poor-wills, I heard [Randle’s] urbane songs, poems fresh with haiku spontaneity, burnished bright as ‘a gypsy’s glass eye,’ seasoned with maturity of vision and understated beauty–a friendly scholar’s voice with tongue a little in the cheek, never sentimental, never giddy, never cute, yet seasoned with self-effacing humor and a somewhat jaundiced eye, the ‘saddest eyes’ one young woman ever saw, seasoned by 40 years of memories gathered up in ‘burlap bags’ or raked in piles for ‘boisterous boys’ to ‘romp asunder.’ ”

—O. Victor Miller, novelist, humorist, and naturalist

“A courageous book of witnessing. It takes the reader through dark paths on fast foot. The poems are written with a sure hand, the images right, the word choice sharp, the line breaks masterful.”

—Ariana D. Den Bleyker, award-winning poet and editor, Emerge Literary Journal

“When we read through Running at Night, we are reminded that while we all feel each and every one of these illustrious emotions, it is still a gift to know how to pull forth the words to describe them. This is why writers such as Ned Randle are so integral in this day and age—and we ought to honor that gift. We honor such gifts to help lift the poet’s burden as the poet lifts our own …. This is a book that should eventually grace our bookshelves, after taking a fair turn upon a coffee table and most specially, in our hands.”

—Mr. & Mrs. Garbanzo, The Garbanzo Literary Journal

“Ned Randle’s poetry collection Running at Night often touches upon the most humdrum aspects of life, and yet somehow Randle always manages to communicate the sheer beauty and wealth of possibilities we find in the everyday. His collected poems from 1976-2012 find the extraordinary in the ordinary, even reassurance in the grotesque, and nourishment in both simple and humble spaces…. With muddy rivers full of fish, grassy banks, lazy dogs, and a cat slinking out of the barn, the sense of place resonates vibrantly in these pages. Randle creates powerful images that both dazzle and revolt.”

—Sarah Rae, Executive Editor, Poydras Review

“In recognizably American fashion, [Randle’s poems] reach from the ground on which he lives to dreams earned and known.”

—Mark Lofstrom, Hawaii Literary Arts Council

Here is an excerpt from Randle’s poem, “Graveside”:

He conjures up a prayer but lets it fall
unspoken onto the sod, into the
soil, jealously hating heaven after
death where strange souls are urged to love his love,
and briefly hoping for hell for her, where
no love survives the crucible, where she
melts in the heat of his lust forever.

Says Randle, “Poetry is the dry distillation of feelings that produces a tangible product to be shared with others. Although the process requires a very high heat and is not without risk, it is worthwhile when readers tell you they can feel the residual warmth rising from the page holding a poem they really like.”

Ned Randle resides in Southern Illinois, where he writes fiction and poetry. He has a law degree from St. Louis University and studied writing at Washington University, Webster University and Southwestern Illinois College. His poems have appeared in a number of literary publications such as The Spoon River Quarterly, Circus Maximus, Seven Stars Poetry, Poydras Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Barnwood International Poetry Magazine, The New Poet, Hamilton Stone Review and Four Ties Literary Review. His chapbook, Prairie Shoutings and Other Poems, was published by The Spoon River Poetry Press, Bradley University. Coffeetown Press will release Randle’s first novel, Baxter’s Friends in June of 2013. For more information, click here.

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