Deft humor and poetic wisdom combine into a transformative book of poetry by Utah author Lance Larsen. Offering golden glimpses of ordinary moments, Backyard Alchemy prompted poet and American Book Award winner Jim Barnes to write: “This book may save your life. You will learn something you will need to know with each poem you read.” This is Larsen’s third book, and his second with the University of Tampa Press, which published In All Their Animal Brilliance in 2005 as winner of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry.
Lance Larsen, who recently completed a five-year appointment as Utah’s poet laureate, is the author of four previous poetry collections: Erasable Walls (1998); In All Their Animal Brilliance (2005), which won the Tampa Review Prize; Backyard Alchemy (2009); and Genius Loci (2013). His poetry and prose appear widely, in such venues as APR, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, River Styx, Southwest Review, Brevity, LIT, TLS, Best American Poetry 2009, Poetry Daily, and Brief Encounters (a Norton nonfiction collection). He has received a number of awards, including a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Ragdale, The Anderson Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His essays have made the Notable Essays list six times in Best American Essays. He is married to Jacqui Larsen and currently serves as chair of the department of English at Brigham Young University.