Mike Lewis-Beck’s haunting poems delineate America moving between the celebratory and the sad. A midwestern idyll of cornfields and lighting bugs is juxtaposed with wistful symbols like Tupperware and plastic roses. This memorable collection ends with breakfast after Trump’s election. Now all but the inside of the diner has changed.
Jan Weissmiller, owner of Prairie Lights Books
Rural Routes delights us with "worms thick as thumbs," Stabler's Soda Fountain, Grampa Rebus, digging potatoes, a boy sneaking off to buy firecrakers wondering if the seller "has all five fingers," and a man who says, "the yolk's the moon./If I spoon off the white ring...I eat it whole."
Sally Bliumis-Dunn, author of Echolocation
One gets the feeling, traveling Rural Routes that Mike Lewis-Beck set out with a plan: start with a memory, real or imagined, and build it a language life. The poems in this collection throw the traditional narrative of rural America slightly off balance, all the while humming harmony.
Nikki Neems, poet