Joshua Harmon’s new book, The Soft Path, appeared September 17 in the Akron Series in Poetry, published by the University of Akron Press. The book, which takes its title from a 1970s term promoting an alternative energy future, is Harmon’s third volume of poetry: the previous one, Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie, won the 2010 Akron Poetry Prize and appeared in 2011. Harmon is also the author of three books of prose, most recently The Annotated Mixtape (essays/memoir) and History of Cold Seasons (short fiction), plus the 2019 Paul Bowles Award-winning chapbook Outtakes, B-Sides, & Demos (essays/memoir), which appeared this spring as the debut title from Five Points Editions.
Writing about The Soft Path, poet Michael Palmer claims that “Joshua Harmon’s work is exquisitely tuned to the fractures and folds of language,” and describes these poems as “compelling efforts to track the uneasy intersection of nature and technology.” Poet Rachel Blau DuPlessis calls The Soft Path a “remarkable book of ecopoetics” and “an empathetic melancholy study of transit as transition… in the William Carlos Williams mode.”
The Soft Path continues Harmon’s exploration of both the serial poem and the long poem, from the small-but-systemic breakdowns of “Cascading Failures” to the epic commuting roadsong of the nearly 1500-line “Horizontal Dropouts.”
Harmon is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Humanities & Arts.