Best Selling Books by David Bottoms

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release date: Apr 15, 2010
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Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else

Can serious poetry be funny? Chaucer and Shakespeare would say yes, and so do the authors of these 187 poems that address timeless concerns but that also include comic elements.

Beginning with the Beats and the New York School and continuing with both marquee-name poets and newcomers, Seriously Funny ranges from poems that are capsized by their own tomfoolery to those that glow with quiet wit to ones in which a laugh erupts in the midst of terrible darkness.

Most of the selections were made in the editors’ battered compact car, otherwise known as the Seriously Funny Mobile Unit. During the two years in which Barbara Hamby and David Kirby made their choices, they’d set out with a couple of boxes of books in the back seat, and whoever wasn’t driving read to the other. When they found that a poem made both of them think but laugh as well, they earmarked it.

Readers will find a true generosity in these poems, an eagerness to share ideas and emotions and also to entertain. The singer Ali Farka Touré said that honey is never good when it’s only in one mouth, and the editors of Seriously Funny hope its readers find much to share with others.

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release date: Apr 10, 2018
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Otherworld, Underworld, Prayer Porch

“[Bottoms] makes astounding leaps of both faith and doubt, and does so with insight, honesty, and flashes of anger―all characteristic elements of his work.” ―The Southern Review

“One finds here what one expects in a book of good Southern poems: clear narratives . . . evocative images, searching irony, and meditative poise.” ―Library Journal

“Bottoms’ poems do what the best poems have always done: They compel us to reread them. They linger in our minds. They alter our perception of the world.” ―Atlanta Journal-Constitution

David Bottoms explores otherness, the death of parents, and private spirituality. Images of rural Georgia confront the changing landscape of his memories where he searches for refuge in quiet places of prayer. Rooted in nature, Bottoms’ poetry affirms the “tenuous ways tenderness seeps into the world” and the loneliness inherent in memory. Memory is “smoke off a damp fire” as Bottoms explores absence, a contemplative inner life, and changing landscapes.

From “An Absence”:

Yes, things happen in the cool white spaces,
those moments you turn your head –
the way the trembling branch suggests the owl,
or the print by the pond suggests the fox.
Near the end, though, only one thing matters,
and nothing, not even the fox, moves as quietly.

David Bottoms is the author of eight books of poetry and has received the Walt Whitman Award, fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, and served as Poet Laureate of Georgia for twelve years. He currently holds the Amos Distinguished Chair in English at Georgia State University.

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release date: Oct 25, 2001
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Oglethorpe's Dream: A Picture of Georgia

Oglethorpe's Dream unites the award-winning photography of Diane Kirkland with the beautifully powerful writing of David Bottoms, Georgia's poet laureate. The result is a stunning portrait of the lands, waters, culture, and people of Georgia.

From the sea islands to the cities, from the wiregrass to the mountain forests, Kirkland gives us a gallery of spectacular images showcasing the state in its breadth, beauty, and diversity. Marrying landscape to history, Bottoms gives voice to a people filled with courage, pain, conviction, and, above all, hope. Together they capture the natural beauty of the diverse landscape, the richness of the state's storied past, and the essence of its spirited people.

"Isn't that what you always hoped for," Bottoms writes, "to find a place . . . and yourself in that place?" Oglethorpe's Dream helps us all to see a place called Georgia, and there to find something of ourselves.

The publication of this book was made possible by the financial support of the State of Georgia, the leadership of Governor Roy E. Barnes, and the partnership of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism, the Georgia Humanities Council, and the University of Georgia Press.

release date: Oct 01, 2008
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Fight Scenes
In an intricately linked series of poetic, short tales set in a 1983 suburb, Greg Bottoms portrays his life as one of two “at-risk” boys as they attempt to learn how to be—and what it means to be—men. By turns funny, disquieting, and moving, Fight Scenes takes an unsparing look at juvenile disaffection and the dark side of white, working-class masculinity. By narrating his experiences with childhood buddy Mark, Bottoms shows how many of America’s young men learn to think about work, sex, weakness, violence, and themselves.
In a pared-down, highly readable style that brings to mind the work of Raymond Carver, Sherman Alexie, and Denis Johnson, Bottoms has created a work of literature that shows how even the most accepted forms of “toughness” can have a damaging, disorienting, and finally dehumanizing effect on everyone, especially kids.
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release date: Apr 01, 1995
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Armored Hearts: Selected & New Poems
Armored Hearts, combining new poems and a selection from previous volumes, offers the power of idiomatic narrative at its naked best. "It is refreshing to read a poet who is not obliquely vague, who tells a story cleanly and convincingly, and yet who will not close down mysterious and complicated things about life that simply defy such closure."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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release date: May 22, 2012
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Young Adult Offenders: Lost in Transition? (Cambridge Criminal Justice Series)

This latest volume in the Cambridge Criminal Justice Series focuses upon young adults and their treatment in the criminal justice system. The subject is very topical because there is increasing evidence that a rigid distinction between ‘youth’ and ‘adulthood’ is not appropriate in modern societies. For example, important developmental tasks such as finishing one’s education, finding regular work and the foundation of one’s own family are now completed later than in former times; neuropsychological brain functions are still developing beyond age 18; and desistance from criminal offending occurs most rapidly in early adulthood.

Despite such evidence, the United Kingdom and other countries have largely neglected policies for young adult offenders in comparison with young people under 18. Although there seems to be no general transnational solution for this problem, there is a clear need for differentiation. This book brings together leading authorities in the field to analyse theoretical, empirical and policy issues relating to this neglected group of people, exploring different approaches to both crime prevention and offender treatment. It will be of interest to researchers, practitioners and policy makers in the fields of criminology, criminal justice, prisons, probation, forensic psychology and psychiatry, sociology, education and social work.

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release date: Jul 12, 2021
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Shooting rats at the Bibb County Dump
Book by Bottoms, David
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release date: Aug 01, 1990
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Georgia on My Mind (America on My Mind Series)
Georgia on my Mind celebrates the unique beauty and spirit of Georgia-its land, wildlife, cities, towns, and people-with outstanding color photography and memorable descriptions. Featured are the finest photographers in Georgia and the nation-David Muench, Willard Clay, David Perdew, and many others-along with selected quotations from notable Georgians and others who love the state, including Sidney Lanier, Margaret Mitchell, Carson McCullers, Jimmy Carter, and many more. Georgia on my Mind also features an introduction written exclusively for the book by respected Georgia novelist and poet David Bottoms.
release date: Aug 12, 2014
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Pitiful Criminals
In Pitiful Criminals, Greg Bottoms offers thirteen genre-bending chapters from his past that take a close look at the lives of small-time criminals driven, often by confusion and desperation, to deeds that range from the absurd to the heinous. We meet the author’s schizophrenic arsonist brother, a depressed pot grower, a damaged ex-dealer who barely escaped a violent burglary, a born-again teenage shooter, and other alienated Americans pushed to extremes by psychology and circumstance. Forceful, poetic, unique, and utterly uncompromising, it is an unforgettable tour of the dark side of the human condition.

Greg Bottoms’s innovative fiction and creative nonfiction have focused on the American South, the effects of violence on individual lives, criminal behavior, mental illness, ecstatic and spiritual experience, and class in America. He blends explicitly autobiographical and biographical content with artful storytelling, a cultural journalist’s observations, and a philosopher’s deep inquiry into the strange ways we live now. This is postmodern crime fiction at its gritty and original best.
release date: Sep 20, 2011
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We Almost Disappear

"An exquisite storyteller."—The Southern Review

"David Bottoms's poems just get better and better."—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"One finds here what one expects in a book of good Southern poems: clear narratives . . . evocative images, searching irony, and meditative poise." —Library Journal

Rooted in the customs of Southern families and peopled with undertakers, bluegrass musicians, daughters practicing karate, and elderly parents, David Bottoms' poems are generous, insightful, and lean headlong into familial wisdom. Past and present interweave with grandmothers spitting tobacco juice, ponds "filled with construction runoff," and the boyhood home-site paved over for a KFC. This is Bottoms' most personal and heartbreaking book.

From "My Daughter Works the Heavy Bag":

A bow to the instructor,
then fighting stance, and the only girl in karate class faces the heavy bag.
Small for fifth grade—willow-like, says her mother—
sweaty hair tangled like blown willow branches.

The boys try to ignore her. They fidget against the wall, smirk,
practice their routine of huff and feint.
Circle, barks the instructor,
jab, circle, kick, and the black bag wobbles on its chain.

Again and again, the bony jewels of her fist
jab out in glistening precision,
her flawless legs remember arabesque and glissade.
Kick, jab, kick, and the bag coughs rhythmically from its gut.

The boys fidget and wait . . .

David Bottom, Georgia's Poet Laureate, was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2009. He teaches at Georgia State University and co-edits Five Points magazine. He lives in Marietta, Georgia.

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