Books

Book Cover: Floating World

Floating World

  • In Floating World, Rick Benjamin excavates layers of somatic memory to recall near-death encounters, recovering the unspeakable while making wonder out of the life-altering events that gave birth to the poet’s consciousness. A book that reveals what’s abandoned behind the shed door, forgotten in rooms full of dust, and inscribed in the scars of the body, this moving collection of poems reaches inward to revisit and hold up each small death to more closely regard the intimate roots of loss and the compassion that is born of giving everything up. Imbued with an ineffable longing, Rick Benjamin’s poems “turn over a new sense of home on our tongues.”— Shin Yu Pai
  • Time, deep time, is living in the resonant poems of Rick Benjamin. It’s amazing how legacies of family and habitation may be so neatly shaped and contained in lilting stanzas. Benjamin has a clear tongue for saying and a fine hold on mystery. After reading his poems, the world feels both more floating and more firm. — Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Rick Benjamin is finding a beautiful voice-music here for the letting-go of being a parent, and many other quick passages. It is a clear listening, this music, to the heart-intelligence moving through us. — Coleman Barks

Cover Art by Lisa Strier
Cover & Book Design by Jane Androski

Published 2013 by Wolf Ridge Press

A portion of the proceeds of these books supports local community initiatives.

Book Cover: Passing Love

Passing Love

  • The artful compression in these fine poems enriches insight, magnifies detail, and allows for more spacious contemplation. Word by word, revelation after revelation, Rick Benjamin has given us a memorable collection of poems. — Margaret Gibson
  • Passing Love is deceptive in its down-to-earth honesty and simplicity. Rick Benjamin's clear-cut language brims and sings, and one is taken to the edge of reckoning before he or she realizes what has happened. There's a needful celebration of everyday life at the core of Passing Love. — Yusef Komunyakaa
  • There is a fantastic eye for detail here, whether Rick Benjamin is close to home watching over his children, or gazing off to the Bamiyan Buddhas. His poems sing the most ancient themes: vulnerable love, the primal lair of family, heartbreaking affection for children, fear for fragile things when danger appears. This is poetry for the twenty-first century, blazing with irises, cranberries, and mineral salt. — Andrew Schelling
  • “I caught sight of a few lines in an open document on my desktop. Poetry! Obviously, immediately good: ‘charcoal shadows of what / were once craters, / eruptions.’ I hoped I had written it. But no—it was Rick Benjamin’s Passing Love: 50 poems replete with the excesses of the ordinary, the longing inside possession—clever poems, like the sweet weight of children, all modulation and emphasis, palpable with thought: ‘a reminder to see / like a Dutch painter / every one of our days.’ Benjamin’s fine line opens a dialogue between the domestic and what it is protected from—ten Bengal tigers, the scorpion on the neck, the alligator in the swamp. But the swamp comes into the alligator, the tigers come into the boy, and a flick of a knife produces both ‘the sharp / sizzle of a scorpion / in flames’ and ‘the rest of your life.’ This line is a zone of exchange—where being a twin, husband, father, and Buddhist transcends identity; it is less division than ring.” — Mairéad Byrne

Cover Art by David Hazlett
Cover & Book Design by Jeff Drury

Published 2010 by Wolf Ridge Press

A portion of the proceeds of these books supports local community initiatives.

About

Rick Benjamin

Rick Benjamin is the State Poet of Rhode Island. He teaches or has taught at Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the MFA Program in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College, in many schools, and in community & assisted living centers — where he has passed good time in the company of people who range in age from six to ninety-six. He also serves as a Fellow at New Urban Arts — an afterschool arts mentoring program for Providence high school students. His poems & essays have appeared in PRØOF, Watershed, The Providence Journal, Tongue, 350.org, The Writer’s Circle, American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan University Press), Urthona: An International Buddhist Journal of the Arts, Poem, Home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica (Paper Kite Press), and La Petite Zine. He lives with his family in a very small village in the smallest state.

Get in Touch

For inquiries regarding appearances, workshops, readings, or performances, contact Rick at ribenjam at gmail dot com.