Fault Lines (blurbs)

Tim Hunt is a landscape artist, like his master, Robinson Jeffers. Unlike Jeffers, Hunt knows “the ache of so much space to fill with the human,” as he says in one of his best poems, “Stories.” He has learned a lot from Jeffers, a great poet of resonant inhuman spaces. But the humanity filling Hunt’s poems is all his own. – Mark Jarman

Tim Hunt is a poet of the American West, of the coastal mountains and the desert valleys. He is also a poet of the landscape of language, where the reader is surprised by luminous detail, sharp-edged memory. The beauty of this world is made more intense by knowing of the fractures underneath the surface, of the land, of speech, of habit, and family connection, threatening to jolt us into new perspectives, deeper recognitions. – Robert Morgan

In Fault Lines Tim Hunt charts the plate tectonics of family history and western landscape, revealing a kind of resilience displayed equally in both. In these beautiful poems, reminiscent of the best of Jeffers, Everson, and Snyder, Hunt’s unerring ear and eye bring to life a west we hardly knew we missed. – Michael Davidson

The strength of Tim Hunt’s nature poems drew me into this book. His observation of light, rocks, a hawk and a field mouse in “High Desert Summer,” a California landscape, is so intense that he seems to long to become part of it:

This time I could stop,
walk into the brittled sage
and wait for the heat
to make me its own.

But I would still not be
calibrated to the rock’s
dance, or the flinch into stillness
deeper than fear.

Then come the poems honoring and loving his family, whose history is made up of men and women “getting by,” “learning to make do,” acquiring “that tricky pride of the poor—the failing that is success.” Here is a poet standing on the threshold of existence, acutely aware of the humans, both living and dead, existing in the rooms behind him, but wanting, “other times,” the consolation of nature

…to wander away from the voices, down
the chipped cement steps to the different
shade of the black walnut, its emptier heat
of rock and thistle, the dirt redder than rust,
and be again alone in that way

His ambivalence is a strength and enrichment, not only for him, but for his fortunate readers. – Judith Hemschemeyer

In a four part harmony of conceptual blends and metaphoric resonances that grid and bridge the subterranean spasms, leavings, and losses of generational memory, Tim Hunt’s elegiac speaker spellbinds a “wholeness of dislocations.” The “trick,” the voice discovers, is “to read what was” in what now exists in the long present of a lifetime, making language out of the silences and images out of the absences to recover invisibles that make the present make some sense. In a poem current with the unending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the speaker writes of the 1967 March on Washington against the war in Vietnam: those marchers then believed that, by definition, a war would end. Fault Lines creates this subtle language of implication, humming a music of loss in the registers of blues, jazz, and rock n roll—an “algebra” of fret and string that voices paths through the faults. – Lucia Cordell Getsi

The most important thing that Tim Hunt knows about poetry was cooked into him in the foothills of California. “here, the light in summer is so absolute everything blooms dust.” His great mentor, Robinson Jeffers, couldn’t have said it any better. – Curtis White