Praise for Sparks from a Nine Pound Hammer

"Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer announces the arrival of a hugely talented and already accomplished young poet. Utterly American yet also alert to the whole world, huge-hearted and with the ear of an angel, Steve Scafidi has written an astonishing and brilliant book."

— Thomas Lux

"This first book is very surprising — the sentence labyrinths of a young Wystan Auden and the reckless heart of an aging James Wright. Scafidi's genius belongs clearly to a rural southern experience where mystery and revelation nervously telegraph to each other news of the coming storm, whole worlds of shaking, a sudden peace or love, the death of elders, and the timely marriage of heaven and hell. Alarms & huzzahs. These are fresh and magnificent poems."

—Norman Dubie

“This poet engages life on multiple levels—not complacent in the presence of suffering and not ignoring injustice, but open to the possibilities of grace, of beauty, of atonement.”

—Philip Belcher, Southern Quarterly

“When I tell you [Scafidi] is a poet of impressive reach and Elizabethan exuberance, you may take me at my word. Imaginatively adroit, formally outfitted without necessarily being formally complex, his work inhabits a large cognitive and imagistic space where ostensible subjects—snakes and weasels, a burning truck, the spruce front of a violin—grow into emanations or strands of implication.”

—David Rigsbee, Cortland Review

"Haunted, yes—by an awareness of the violent history of the South in particular, of the accidents and deaths that afflict human lives, of the violence to meaning pointed out by contemporary theories of language that stress the arbitrary relationship between words and reality. For Scafidi, however, imaginative possibilities redeem a great deal."

—Dave Bruzina, Half Drunk Muse Poetry