Relative Hearts by Ron Mohring


Relative Hearts

Poetry by Ron Mohring


Praise for Relative Hearts

In one of the many poems in this book that breaks me, [A] father takes off his shirt and shows his son a small metal object the size of a hotel soap tucked under the skin near his heart. It’s not Jesus, back from the dead, showing his wound to Thomas, but a very mortal dad with a tiny device that monitors his heart, keeps him alive a little longer. In another poem, a man tears the word-a-day calendar pages into compost for the garden. The outcome of all this, Mohring reminds us, is inevitable. The garden rose is torn down by a storm. Fathers die, brothers die, a mother warns her children that one of them will one day find her dead. But I can think of no better way to describe the work Ron does in these gorgeous, earthy, heartbreaking poems. That meticulous work of language torn into time and hope. That tiny device that stalls inevitable loss, that sustains our weary, relative hearts.

—Ed Madden, author of A pooka in Arkansas

About Ron Mohring

Ron Mohring is the author of four previous poetry chapbooks, including Amateur Grief (Frank O’Hara Prize) and The David Museum (Diagram/ New Michigan Press). His full-length collections are Survivable World (Washington Prize) and The Boy Who Reads in the Trees (The Word Works, 2024). Ron has received both the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing and the Stadler Fellowship from Bucknell University, where for several years he taught composition and creative writing. In 2007 he founded Seven Kitchens Press, which has published over 200 hand-sewn chapbooks and still operates from his kitchen table. Ron lives with his husband in Cincinnati, Ohio.