“Todd Fredson’s first collection of poems is a sometimes live run of cradle songs balanced with the falling catkin atmospheres of some of our more terrible vehicles of human salvation. I think of Rilke’s pained-city, and Roethke’s Far Field. What I celebrate here is the originality of this work and the simple fact that I cannot easily make it subordinate to other important first books of our period.”
“The poems in The Crucifix-Blocks, Todd Fredson’s mysterious and beautiful debut, spring from that most authentic of impulses: deep feeling. But walking, as he does, at the union of cloud and consequence, he’s written a book that affects the ear as much as it does the heart. In exploring the rewards of undertaking treacherous travels—both of body (through West Africa) and the mind (romantic and familial love)—it wants to center the self on a great continuum of meaning. It looks back, it looks forward, but most importantly, it looks out. This is a passionate, gorgeous and satisfying book.”
“Again and again, these meditations expose their quiet wisdoms with an admirable sleight-of-hand. Against the meditative flow of any given passage, unexpected and exquisitely honed images appear with the force of lightning strikes. The precise and surprising architectures of these poems help expose the heart’s—and the mind’s—inevitable emergencies. Todd Fredson brings a delicate, incisive, and lyrical social realism to American poetry, and with this single book has emerged as one of our most powerful younger voices.”
—David St. John
Prior to receiving his Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University, Todd Fredson served in the Peace Corps, living in a village in the Ivory Coast during a period of revolution. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. He lives with his partner and their two sons in Santa Monica, California.