David’s first full-length book of poetry, We Were the People Who Moved, is “a journey across America…a journey you will be grateful for having taken” (poet Jesse Lee Kercheval). Poet Kelly Cherry calls We Were the People Who Moved “a book of continual brilliance.”
WANT TO GET YOUR OWN COPY? We Were the People Who Moved can be ordered at your local bookstore, or online at the Tebot Bach website, Amazon*, Small Press Distribution, and (soon) other online stores. You can also get a copy at one of David’s upcoming events!
*Amazon seems to periodically run out of stock, but they do take orders, and will get you the book ASAP.
WANT TO CHECK IT OUT FIRST? Well, here’s the book trailer:
And here are a few sample poems from the collection that were first published online:
“We Were the People Who Moved.” Sweet: A Literary Confection.
“City of Weather.” Thrush Poetry Journal.
“We Are All on the Edge of Something.” Boxcar Poetry Review.
“Autogeography.” Verse Daily.
“We Were The People Who Moved is smart, lyrical, and full of insight. Spiritual observations disguise themselves in plainspoken humor, and intellectualism gives way to intimacy. This is a collection for re-reading, a book to be dog-eared, underlined, and loved.”
-Anya Groner, writing for the New Orleans Review
“This is a powerful perception of America with intensity of language and lightness of tone. How does Ebenbach achieve balance? Diction, word choice, and goodwill. Some poems are hyper realism but beneath language is genuine emotional substance. It’s a pleasure to read a poet whose spoken speech appears to be everyday-talk; but each word is from thought, and each train of thought becomes movement; and that’s what makes poetic bounty.”
-Grace Cavalieri, writing for the Washington Independent Review of Books
“I like David’s work because he writes about talking refrigerators and werewolves and the angst of job interviews—no topic is brushed aside as not being ‘literary’ enough, and therefore the whole weird world is both skewed and made sense of through his words.”
-Katie Riegel, writing for Sweet: A Literary Confection
“Without tricks or trends, guile or self-flattery, without the winking cynicism particular to our age, Ebenbach moves his lines, and his readers, from resonant detail to larger, existential observations with ingenious, clear-eyed authority. His lovely poems grant us momentary stay against silence.”
-Dorothy Barresi, author of American Fanatics, Rouge Pulp, and The Post-Rapture Diner
“In We Were the People Who Moved, David Ebenbach takes the reader on a journey across America, pausing for a freight train or for Passover in ordinary places, in poems filled with both an American restlessness and a post-Holocaust sadness. But Ebenbach also offers reasons for exalting in the glorious minutia of this often rootless world—babies are born, holidays celebrated as the ‘day opens wider, the sun burning/ like everything else.’ This is a journey you will be grateful for having taken, a book that will stay with you long after the last poem.”
-Jesse Lee Kercheval, author of Cinema Muto, Dog Angel, and World as Dictionary
“Poem by poem, Ebenbach’s new collection transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. The result is a book of continual brilliance. Sometimes the reader is jolted by a sense of danger and displacement and sometimes the reader is stunned into recognition. Either way, we see the world anew. The world may be raw and purposeless (‘The / breath I get is all mildew’), while at other times ‘Shabbat comes over West Philadelphia / on quiet wings.’ These profoundly moving poems register in the reader’s heart and won’t be budged. Truth-telling and tonic, they are poems by which to measure one’s life.”
-Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry, A Kind of Dream, and Hazard and Prospect
“If Elizabeth Bishop’s Man-Moth, the city’s subterranean searcher, moved to the Midwest, he might shadow the speaker of David Ebenbach’s poetry, walking the ‘foreign lawn and foliage’ of small-town Indiana, where lightning from the ‘fathomless sky’ strikes down Football Jesus, and where the ‘robotic corn’ of solar panels soak up the sun’s weight. Quick, quirky, and engaging, Ebenbach’s urban pastorals discover noisy plagues of cicadas, broken and excavated streets, and a burdened house whose gutters sag like the mouth of someone just ‘starting to / understand.’ What redemption comes to this ‘inevitable place’? What escape? Clamorous passions shatter against ‘high white walls’; track lighting shines on ‘water damage, social awkwardness, deadlines.’ Yet brief hope arrives in the form of a charming, interruptive son and in sudden, improvised prayers, sent from ‘the fringes of the universe.’ The American anthem ‘We the People’ echoes strangely through We Were the People: a post-modern ‘wagons west’ of dislocation, brief homesteading, and the threads of regeneration. David Ebenbach, by turns impulsive, funny, astute, and moving, is a great maker.”
-David Gewanter, author of In the Belly, The Sleep of Reason, and War Bird