(cover art by Madara Mason)
Green Regalia was recently published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press and can be purchased from the publisher or from Amazon. Additionally, you can view a brief book trailer here, an hour-long virtual craft chat about the book here, or listen to a two-part interview on Delmarva Public Radio about the book: simply click here for Part I and click here for Part II.
Publisher’s Book Detail:
Written against the harrowing backdrop of climate change, Green Regalia explores our precarious ecological moment and increasingly fraught relationship with the natural world. Green Regalia chronicles the objectification of landscapes and the species within them, the cultural denial of the body’s transient nature, and the aftermath of an estranged father’s death. These poems of rot and renewal seek a wisdom free of domination, where both wonder and surrender may remind us of our place in the greater tapestry of life. Poems from Green Regalia have appeared in some of our nation’s best journals, including Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Massachusetts Review, Willow Springs, Ninth Letter, Southwest Review, Poet Lore, Western Humanities Review, and Tampa Review, among many others.
“This exceptional collection is rooted in that transcendental sense of the world as the spiritual made manifest, and in poem after poem, Tavel goes looking for the ineffable in the contextual dirt of his life and the lives of others.”
“The personal and the persona, the historical and the present, the real and the surreal, the fragmented and the lucid all converge in Green Regalia as Adam Tavel guides us from poem to poem with lithe, logical leaps and surprising connections. Tavel masterfully creates a space of dark and disturbing beauty: “My gift,” he tells us, “is a small token wrapped hysterically with the obituary page.” Here, poems of absence and presence, grief, death, addiction, self-destruction, and family and societal violence reverberate off of, and augment, one another. Tavel’s exquisite use of language and sensory-filled images invite us into empathy and the deeper meanings that are at the heart of this collection. Unflinching, at times visceral, these poems refuse to look away, and we are the richer for it.”
“Adam Tavel’s new book, Green Regalia, charts childhood’s rise and fall (“I ached to rise,” “falling as he prayed”) in a world of gorgeous surfaces (“papyral skins” and “hymnal leather,” the “rust-streaked cheeks” of a kestrel). This in a book of fathers and historical figures (Lowell, Coltrane, Lincoln) and a great tenderness towards children, the bruised breath of their sleep, nuggeted throughout with wonderful sonnets. Here is Tavel’s “fallen nation” in which the sunflowers, rising, “find the ground they’ve left” and bless it.”
“Adam Tavel has taught the English language tricks: every word sits on command, comes to heel. You’ll want to read these poems out loud and let the music take your tongue, despite the subjects and their deep intimacy—fathers and sons, mistakes owned or denied, nightmares and redemption. From the first person to the persona poems, poems of nature or disrupted childhoods, these stories are recognizable yet brilliantly new, knife-sharp, unrelenting, a wonder of a collection.”
“I love the private histories in Green Regalia by Adam Tavel: Jesse Owens, Napoleon, Robert Lowell, a crash test dummy, a nightie that’s “edamame green.” If the only thing a poet owes the world is attention, as Brenda Hillman writes, then I can’t think of poems that see the world this clearly—that are this deft, this textured, this alive.”