David Bottoms was born in 1949 in Canton, Georgia, the county seat of Cherokee County, and raised there. His very first book of poetry – Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump (1979) - received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets judged by Robert Penn Warren! He has subsequently won a vast array of awards for his ten poetry collections, two novels, and a book of essays. He was Georgia Poet Laureate from 2000 until 2012. Bottoms currently holds an endowed chair in English Letters at Georgia State University where he has taught since 1982. The poems in Otherworld, Underworld, Prayer Porch illuminate the poet’s youth in Cherokee County, growing up the son of a registered nurse and a father who took over his own father’s grocery store and later became a funeral director. Bottoms has said that there were only two books in his home growing up – a King James Bible and a Billy Graham book.“David Bottoms is brilliant in the clarity and richness of his language, profoundly humane in the breadth and compassion of his vision. He is quite simply one of the best poets writing today.” -Jane Hirshfield. “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. “[He] 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.
Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2018. 69 pages. Trade paperback