Designed for Flight

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5243-4
Publication Date
April 2014
Page Count
100 pages
Trim Size
6.125 x 8.5

Designed for Flight

Gregory Fraser

Designed for Flight both continues and enlarges the exploration of the rhythms of our emotional lives undertaken in Gregory Fraser’s first two collections. A master of metaphor, Fraser works magic within tightly controlled forms, loading lines with surprising juxtapositions and changes of direction. Taken together, the poems trace the sometimes instant, sometimes decades-long movement from incomprehensible loss and grief to rueful reflection and, if we’re lucky, uneasy accommodation. Casting a sharply observant eye on past selves, always steering clear of simple sentiment, the speaker in this collection looks back with bitter irony and forgiveness in equal measure. Against the fears and frustrations of childhood, the dissolution of a doomed relationship, and the distance between the hoped for and the actual, Fraser’s poems offer the imagination’s capacity for endless invention and the compensatory pleasures of art.
About the Author

GREGORY FRASER, a professor in the Department of English at the University of West Georgia, is the author of two previous poetry collections, Answering the Ruins (Northwestern, 2009) and Strange Pietà (2003). He is also the coauthor, with Chad Davidson, of the textbooks Writing Poetry (2009) and Analyze Anything (2012).


“Gregory Fraser is the best in the business when it comes to writing funny, rueful poems about escaping life in a town with ‘one high school, one hospital, and one moon,’ about partying so hard in college that when he recalls his fellow celebrants, he says ‘her name was Judy, his, Eric I can’t remember mine.’ Yet even in his older, wiser poems, the ones packed with experience and insight, his longing look back at youth’s ‘candied falsehoods’ will make you smile as well, make you, too, want to be young and stupid again and eager for everything the world has to offer.”—David Kirby

“Gregory Fraser’s third book, mostly turned away from good times and settled affairs, is not only his best, it is altogether free of acknowledged necessities like almost perfect or even greatly improved—this is an idiom past comparisons. Vocabulary, movement, and aplomb are by now the work of a master not sure or even assured. What astonishes the reader is that the poems are not confident or even hopeful, but correct, obviously true.”—Richard Howard

“With his seemingly inexhaustible fountain of metaphors, an openness to offbeat couplings, a fine ear, a rich and supple language, and a penetrating psychological acuity—right to the place it hurts—Greg Fraser refreshes vision, revealing not only how the past shadows bright hopes, but also how, as Blake said, ‘the eye altering, alters all.”—Eleanor Wilner