Like All Light, by Todd Copeland, was selected by Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson for the 2021 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize. In selecting this manuscript, Thompson wrote:
From the opening lines of Like All Light and throughout the collection, Todd Copeland wraps these poems in elegiac language both lyrical and haunting. His flood of memories—real and imagined—will remain with the reader long after the reading is done. Take your time; it’s well worth the journey.
Todd Copeland’s other works include the poetry chapbook The Book as Knife (Ravenna Press, 2021) and the narrative nonfiction book The Immortal Ten (Baylor University Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in The Journal, Southern Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Lake Effect, Christianity & Literature, and Sugar House Review, among other publications, and his essays have been published in such journals as Literary Imagination, JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory, and Media, War & Conflict. He holds degrees in English from Baylor University (BA), The University of Georgia (MA), and Texas A&M University (PhD). A native of Ohio, he lives in Waco, Texas.
These attentive love poems—love of place, love of family, love of language—are “worldly” in a most generous, deeply human and humble sense. Heir to metaphysical poets like Charles Wright and James Wright, Copeland understands that poems not only reflect but take place; and in his vision, landscapes (literal and metaphorical, internal and external) are so reverently observed that each reveals its singular luminosity.
—Lisa Russ Spaar, author of Madrigalia: New & Selected Poems
Like All Light is aptly titled in that these poems illuminate our world with, as the poet writes, an “elegiac brightness.” Copeland’s world is a fallen one, but one that is still suffused with grace, if one knows where to look, and these poems teach us how to do just that. We are invited to “make something / that never existed before.” Pound urged poets to “make it new,” and Copeland answers that call in a collection of phenomenal tenderness and beauty.
—Austin Smith, author of Flyover Country