The White Train

Inspired by daguerreotypes, tintypes, stereopticon slides, snapshots, and even yearbook photos, the poems in The White Train offer stark, sometimes sensual portraits of those no longer able to speak for themselves. In an evocative and resonant voice, John Spaulding explores history through the work of photographers over a hundred-year period, including Southworth and Hawes, Roger Fenton, Timothy O’Sullivan, Robert Howlett, Frederick Evans, Lewis Hine, and many anonymous amateurs. Even in their most overt references to pictures, Spaulding’s poems are worlds unto themselves, abundantly filled with sounds, smells, and feelings that cannot be photographed.

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Selected by

Henry Taylor