Random Saints by Joe Cottonwood
Publisher: Kelsay Books, May 2020
In “Officially Licensed Poet,” the speaker says to the poet ‘I don’t really like poetry but I like your stuff.’ I really do like poetry and I like Joe Cottonwood’s stuff too. If I were asked to choose a book to encapsulate late twentieth century early twenty-first century life as told by a humane and gifted observer, Random Saints would be my pick. Cottonwood is a master story-teller. Put a log on the fire, pull up a comfy chair, open the book. Prepare to laugh, prepare to cry, prepare to feel better about the human race.
— Donna Hilbert, author of Gravity: New & Selected Poems
I have to say HOLY WOW. This whole thing knocked me over. Joe Cottonwood is a poet of uncommon perception. His work is direct, embodied, and authentic. Each poem is packed with the real wealth that comes of close observation and hard-won wisdom, carved down to the essence. Let Random Saints show you how the “grinding of the earth creates a diamond.” Then grab a few extra copies. You’re going to want to share this book.
— Laura Grace Weldon, Ohio Poet of the Year 2019, author of Blackbird
Joe Cottonwood’s humanity illuminates his beautiful poetry, unfailingly drawing us into kinship with our fellow beings—two-legged and otherwise—in ways that surprise and delight. His writing proves the power of simple words and everyday experiences. I was honored to publish so many of these pieces in The MOON magazine.
— Leslee Goodman, publisher of The MOON magazine
Joe Cottonwood is a carpenter by day, poet by night. He lives under redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.