Your Eureka Not Mined
Chris Keaveney’s debut collection is a litany of the almost, “What the leaves in the bottom of the cup / should have said, / had we but waited for them to settle.” But if he often writes of arriving late, of stopping just short, of ideals nearly believed in, of songs learned save for a single chord, there is nothing left wanting in his language, which is exquisitely precise, full of catch-your-breath moments. Through these deceptively gentle poems we learn to pay attention to the details that unmask the mysteries, like a grandfather who knows “the difference between lacquer and varnish” or “the way / rain clung to pine that morning / like a drunken lover’s / apology,” and to arrive at what is for each of us – as in the closing word in the book – “precious.” There is much wisdom on offer here, but none better than the reminder that “The only promises that matter . . . / are the ones we make to ourselves.”
Creative Writing | Poetry
"Christopher Keaveney's poems – I use all the following terms advisedly – address and respect the full range of a reader's sensibility. They provide substantial challenges and substantial satisfaction. I grant them equal respect and will reread them." - William I. Elliott, author of An Evening’s Entertainment
"What makes a poet memorable to me is the ability to make me sit up and feel a wow moment, an idea, a poetic line or a usage of words that says to me this poet is unique. Christopher Keaveney is that kind of poet. I had those moments when I read Keaveney's poems. They are of high quality and belong in 'the show' which is baseball talk for the major leagues." - Zvi A. Sesling, author of Across Stones of Bad Dreams and Fire Tongue
"Subtle, wry, sinuous, insisting – the poems in Christopher T. Keaveney’s debut, Your Eureka Not Mined, deal in distance: the distance of memory, of language, of metaphor. '[I]n the darkness,' Keaveney writes, 'I brush away something / that may turn out to be grass / or pity.' And that’s the very space the poet attempts to map here, the difficult geography between the interior and the exterior, between our labyrinthine psyches and the wild, multitudinous world. It’s a challenging endeavor, and this is a finely wrought collection up to the task. Your Eureka Not Mined is full of nuance, complexity, and surprise, just the way 'the gabardine knot / of memory' unfolds in 'a shower of blossoms.'" - Joe Wilkins, author of The Mountain and the Fathers, Killing the Murnion Dogs, and When We Were Birds
Keaveney, Christopher T., "Your Eureka Not Mined" (2017). Linfield Authors Book Gallery. 70.