Seattle Small Book Company

Seattle Small Books Company

Click on the book titles for more information on each book.

The Winnowing Fan
Ritter's Crime
On Ancient Paths
Click here to read On Ancient Paths digital version

Seattle Small Books Company

Books >> The Winnowing Fan  •  Ritter's Crime  •  On Ancient Paths

Seattle Small Books Company

The Winnowing Fan

James M. Brantingham

This lovely playful book takes exquisite care with words and images, giving us one quiet moment hung upon another until the seas of its imagination stretch blue or dark before us. Brantingham's translations create cutting verses sharper than butchers' knives, and he plays satirically with academic speculation about a supposed fragment from paleo-literature. Read this book for its spare lines, where Eden, Attica, and an abandoned cabin somewhere in the western hills become one, and references to orchestral music match the music of his words.

- Linda J. Clifton, Ph.D.
  Founding editor, Crab Creek Review

A winnowing fan is used to separate the chaff from the grain. In the Odyssey, Odysseus is instructed by Circe to find the seer Tiresias in the Underworld. Tiresias tells Odysseus to take an oar from his ship and to walk inland until he finds a "land that knows nothing of the sea", where the oar would be mistaken for a winnowing fan. At this point, he is to offer a sacrifice to Poseidon, and then his journeys would be over.
While studying classical literature at Gonzaga University, I met a young waitress in a local pub who asked me what I was studying. I said, "Latin" and she said, "Whats that?" And thats how the title poem got its beginning.