Winter Garden

Winter Garden, a collection of poetry by Robert Hunter Jones, aka Gray Jones

Robert Hunter Jones’ collection Winter Garden won the 2014 Gerald Cable Book Award, a national poetry prize juried by Dorianne Laux.


“In WINTER GARDEN, everything slides toward the leaf rot and the twisted roots—the apparitions of a father, two countries, the landscapes of childhood, and the hinterlands of obsession and imagination. … This book is a paean to place, a witness to the mysteries of the examined life, and a true gift for those of us who think the poet’s profession is to invent a new language for a singular vision.” — Michael McGriff (read McGriff’s full review)

“In this book, we view a childhood landscape in Oregon through the prism of an Austrian city’s austere light, and by this refraction personal loyalties are tested, deepened, clarified. The narrator’s primordial gestures seek to join every life’s two worlds of memory and fact: ‘I gnaw the songs of birds … I carry hunger with me like a map … I work a shovel beneath the roots …” I am grateful to have these poems that do life’s heavy lifting with such a deft, lyric touch.”
— Kim Stafford

“WINTER GARDEN is a whole world made out of beautiful lyric narratives, a wonder and care for nature, and the deep songs of memory. In this book Mr. Jones gives us a path to both get lost and find our way.” — Matthew Dickman



A few poems from the book: Dark MatterExact Directions of LightResolveWinter Garden


Robert Hunter Jones

Robert Hunter Jones spent three years as a logger in the Oregon Coast Range and two years working the swing shift in a sawmill in his home town of Lakeside, Oregon, before returning to college to study literature and writing. After attending Southwestern Oregon Community College, he won a scholarship to complete his undergraduate degree at Lewis and Clark College and, subsequently, a Fellowship to the Graduate Writing Program at Brown University.

Jones worked for eight seasons on National Park Service fire crews, five at Crater Lake National Park, where he conducted research on fire effects and fire suppression, and three seasons with Arrowhead Hotshots, a Type 1 fire crew based in Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. He published a series of essays in Wild Earth and Wildfire Magazine arguing for the return of fire to wilderness ecosystems and the need to reshape the role of professional wildland firefighters to meet the challenges posed by a century of widespread fire suppression.

His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, Cumberland Poetry Review, Fireweed, Northwest Review, Poetry Northwest, Seattle Review, and West Wind Review, and in the chapbook The Clever Man’s Forest, Traprock Press, 2011. Since 1990 he has taught Literature and Theory of Knowledge at American International School of Vienna, in Vienna, Austria, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Poet and author Robert Hunter Jones, aka Gray Jones
Breakfast Included, a broadside of a poem by Robert Hunter Jones, aka Gray Jones


Read some of the work

Poems from the book Winter Garden

From the chapbook The Clever Man’s Forest

The broadside shown here of “Breakfast Included” was designed and printed by Michael McGriff in an edition of 50.


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