This collection may hunger after moments of recognition and release, but not with the chill pallor of pietism. These poems mingle the romantic and ironic; they tell jokes and light up a scene with the flash of an incandescent phrase. Titles offer delights of their own, as in "June Report with Suppressed Geese and Sweatbees", or this collision of the sublime and the mundane, "Soul Travel at the Electric Brew, Goshen, Indiana" (with another statement of Gundy's restless theme: "If I could, I would live everywhere for a little while"). Spoken among the Trees is a book to live with, companionable even as it challenges easy beliefs and resists the overly earnest with a warm wit. Jeff Gundy's intricate and musical poems are wise in their humility, as probing as they are sweetly reasonable.
Jeff Gundy has taught at Bluffton University since 1984. He has published four full-length collections of poetry, most recently Deerflies, which won the Editions Prize and the Nancy Dasher Award. His three prose books include the award-winning Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing. Recipient of several Ohio Arts Council fellowships, Gundy is a 2008 Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Salzburg, Austria.