After two years spent in the Kurdish North of Iraq, Patrick Woodcock has returned with his eighth collection of poetry, Echo Gods and Silent Mountains.
Resisting both summary gestures and grief tourism, these poems form a sustained poetic journal of both Woodcock’s own experiences and those of the Iraqis who befriended him, as it paints a picture of the birth of a new Kurdish state. With poems that are at once deadly serious and poignantly humorous, Echo Gods and Silent Mountains is the work of a poet who cannot live or create without uprooting himself to our world’s most misunderstood and misrepresented regions.
Published: April 2012
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“Patrick Woodcock has sent back a document from his time in Kurdish Iraq. His adventurous Echo Gods and Silent Mountains is a noisy, conflicted affair, unwilling to sacrifice complexity for theme. Woodcock flirts with various traditions, including folk song, prophecy and debate, while his formal preferences involve spacey caesuras, refrains and the kind of self-aware rhyme you see coming from the line’s first syllable . . . [Echo Gods and Silent Mountains] becomes a wild, insidious journal, reminiscent of Dionne Brand’s Griffin-winning Ossuaries, with its wounded morality and its chugging, unstoppable, rhythms.” —Globe and Mail
"Patrick Woodcock, borrows the voice of the Kurds, does not distance himself, does not judge, does not analyze. . . . Echo Gods and Silent Mountains, in this reader’s opinion, is the best book ever written on Kurds: unique in both form and content. The book is a proof of Woodcock’s exceptional ability to commiserate with a nation invisible to the rest of the world; he becomes a Kurd, feels the plight, and carries the weight of a century of massacre, of endless pain. Woodcock is a genuine voice." — The Kurdistan Tribune
"Echo Gods and Silent Mountains is a heavy book but not a bleak one; Woodcock has a talent for locating the undiminished human spirit and should be praised for his skilled and insightful treatment of such complex subject matter." — Arc Poetry Magazine
"Woodcock’s evocative poetry offers a glimpse into people engaged in the process of rebuilding themselves, and the conflicts that inevitably arise. This is an excellent collection, and I look forward to reading the next two books as they’re published." —Broken Pencil
“Through its amalgamation of voices, forms, and ideas, and through its earnest craft and composite apostrophe, Echo Gods and Silent Mountains refuses the reduction to the simple and delivers the excitement of the several." — Cutbank Online