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This review is taken from PN Review 132, Volume 26 Number 4, March - April 2000.

MINIATURE STORIES JARED CARTER, Work, for the Night is Coming, After the Rain, Les Barricades Mystérieuses (Cleveland State University Poetry Center) $8.00, $10.00, $10.00

Jared Carter's Work, for the Night is Coming originally published by Macmillan (USA) won the prestigious Walt Whitman Award in 1980. His second full collection After the Rain won the Poet's Prize and is now in its third printing; both books along with a new collection Les Barricades Mystérieuses have been recently issued by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Whilst he has a high reputation in the USA, his work is hardly known in the UK.

In Work, for the Night is Coming he deals mainly with everyday events and people with an extraordinary sympathy, seeing in their lives a kind of nobility, such as this recalling the Depression:

They had their shirts off,
Down on their knees - old scars
Flared in the sunlight, tattoos
Glistened on their arms. Men

With no teeth, with noses
Turned and bent, fingers missing.
                                           ('Turning the Brick')

Many of the poems are miniature stories, in 'Tintypes' he offers brief sketches of three fellow Indiana residents. 'Sam Bass', a train robber killed in 1878, 'Oliver P. Morton', the Governor of Indiana during the Civil War and 'John Dillinger' the gangster. Carter lets them talk, in a fashion reminiscent of the shades out of Dante, as each has a point to make.

It took three days for me to bleed to death.
People crowded around the shack
Where they had me, but I ...


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