The Trees Around

The Trees Around

Chris Tonelli

Full of the will and the weather, that great skeptic Wallace Stevens walked to work and wrote his poems, poems you may well already love and believe. (Good, as they say, for you.) And as for Chris Tonelli, he walks in that integrity: read him, and be merciful unto yourself. His foot standeth in an even place. This book'll make you bloom.

Graham Foust

What People Are Saying

Bill Knott

Chris Tonelli has to be one of the best young poets in the USA. The Trees Around is great— a singularly-gifted synthesis of intelligence and visual depictive skill. I'd do the usual blurb-bit of quoting some apt phrase from it in summary, but there are too many good ones to choose from. It's filled with pleasing aspects. The book is brilliant and deserves the highest praise.

Ana Božičević

In The Trees Around, the poet-watcher delights in the dismantling motion of his eye and yearns to be released into the seen. The book vibrates white-noise silence, welling as an ancient lyricism like that of Li Po sitting with the mountain until only the mountain remains: “I was born/ without dreams; that's the/ first step./ Then,/ to gather no material." These poems are that fierce resonance “between the mask and face," the “elusive reunion" their watcher reaches for.

Inside the Book

Perfect-bound. 80 pp,
8.8" x 5.9"
Publication Date:
April 2010


Erika Moya

Sink Review

Matt Mullins

Unstable Euphony

Matthew Falk


From the Book

Why Poems Can Be More Like Paintings


The present murders us for the past
having barely grazed the word.

The word—a seagull, high against
the overcast sky, winking

like a fake moustache. It thinks
the factory is the sea. A river-

bed: great depths to receive, great

depths to give away. To the ocean.

Elegy W/Juniper

— for George Mazzoni


There is a place

I can't get to

because he is dead.

I want to live at

the ocean because

he did. I will go to

his town even, his

house. But what

will I go there to

receive? The junipers

unpruned? We think

of trees as places

and as defining

places. I had never

thought of him as

defining a place.

Maybe people should

have been trees.