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Your Eureka Not Mined

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.”



Publication Date



Broadstone Books


Frankfort, Ky.


Creative Writing | Poetry


Description, cover image, and reviews courtesy of Broadstone Books.

Subject Areas


Author/Editor Bio

Christopher Keaveney is Professor of Japanese at Linfield College. He holds a Ph.D in Japanese and Comparative Literature from Washington University (St. Louis), an M.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from Washington University (St. Louis), and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Manhattan College.


"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

Your Eureka Not Mined