miami university


The Disappearing Town


John Drury

2000. 1-881163-31-8 / 1-881163-32-6

The Disappearing Town book cover

Out of Print

From Venice to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, from one disappearing town in the marshes to another, John Drury, in his first full-length book of poems, navigates through the twisty channels of memory and perception, loss and desire, where what's real and what's a wavering reflection attract and perplex the bedazzled explorer. In this flat terrain, poised before floodtide, children learn to write longhand and to take off each other’s clothes, adolescents goof off at menial jobs, a lyric soprano loses her nerve and possibly her voice, husbands and wives drift apart in their separate obsessions and pursuits. Like a camera’s viewfinder in which two halves of an image must line up perfectly to come into focus, Drury pieces together the past and the present into “one likeness that is whole.”

“Drury is a responsible dreamer, and what he is responsible to, all so rarely, is the context of his memory, the site of desire. It makes the dreaming come forward, such accountableness, as well as come back, the circumstantiality of it all: ‘And that was love’s high-tide mark at the beach: A line of seaweed, broken shells, black sand.’”
—Richard Howard

“Fiercely intelligent, carefully honed, Drury’s poems trust in the myth of the way things are, singing of memory and loss to our sad world of ovation and applause.”
—Marilyn Nelson

About the Author

Photo of John DruryJohn Drury is the author of Burning the Aspern Papers (also published by Miami University Press), and The Disappearing Town. Other works include Creating Poetry, The Poetry Dictionary, and a chapbook of poems, The Stray Ghost.

His work has appeared in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Boulevard, The Chattahoochee Review, The Cortland Review, Epoch, High Plains Literary Review, The Journal, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, The Literary Review, The New Republic, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, Verse, Western Humanities Review, Poetry, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, the anthology, Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English, and a Pushcart Prize anthology.

John Drury’s The Refugee Camp was the 2004 winner of the Paris Review Prize in Poetry. His other awards include a Pushcart Prize, two Ohio Arts Council grants, and an Ingram Merrill Foundation fellowship.

John Drury was born in Cambridge, Maryland, and educated at State University of New York at Stony Brook, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Iowa. He now lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Laurie Henry, and their two children, Eric and Rebecca. He teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.

Author Photo: © 1999 Jon Hughes