In an age of superficiality, mediocrity, and sound-cliches, John Brantingham is a genuine throwback to when Men of Letters roamed the literary prairies: a scholar, novelist, poet, essayist, scriptwriter, public speaker , reviewer, professor, mentor, and festival organizer . He is first-rate in everything he turns his mind and hand to. His poems benefit from the breadth of his life experiences as well as his formal academic training. His creative and intellectual emanations brim with his enthusiasms, his versatility, and the depths of spirituality and social conscience at the core of his soul. There is no one of whom I could speak more highly, as a writer and as a person.
It is difficult to praise a book of poems that you already feel so emotionally connected to: it seems unnecessary, a gesture that only takes away from the beauty, wisdom, goodness, honesty, imaginativeness, and spirituality of the work itself. Nevertheless, John Brantingham’sThe Green of Sunset is the finest collection of poems he has ever written, which is saying something, considering he’s been producing excellent work for going on 20 years now. Let the prose poems contained in this collection stand alongside those in Mark Strand’s Almost Invisible and Jim Harrison’s In Search of Small Gods as some of the most accomplished of the past decade. Simply put, these poems are the work of a writer operating at the very top of his craft.
--Paul Kareem Tayyar, Author of In the Footsteps of the Silver King (Spout Hill Press) and Follow the Sun (Aortic Books).
Our best writers weigh their words carefully, and John Brantingham is certainly one of them. He is a craftsman with a huge heart who cares deeply about people and stories and the chaos we call our lives. His characters are beautifully rendered, real and true, at once vulnerable and courageous. Wise and insightful, Brantingham's work brilliantly captures the light and darkness in us all.
--James Brown, Author of The Los Angeles Diaries and This River.