The Immigrant’s Contract

In this new collection of linked poems, Leland Kinsey offers a new installment of his moving and powerful narrative verse. Arriving by horse-and-carriage as a child, the main character of this sequence embodies the cultural transformation that so many American families have endured, while Kinsey’s verse captures the twentieth-century themes of displacement, work, and transformation in bold, crisp detail. No subject is beyond his grasp: travels through the Canadian wilderness, a baseball game in Florida, the sabotage of archaeology, a night crossing to Cuba, a lonesome poacher’s soliloquy. He always connects these disparate themes with a sure hand, constructing something sure to resonate with every American – newcomers and first settlers alike. It is all here, acute, ambitious, and accessible.

Praise for The Immigrant’s Contract

The Immigrant’s Contract is the most masterful and engaging story of what it means to be an immigrant in America that I have ever read.
—Howard Frank Mosher

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Leland Kinsey was a graduate of Lake Region Union High School and the University of Vermont and wrote eight volumes of poetry. His most recent collection was published in the spring, Galvanized: New and Selected Poems. Other volumes include his 2014 work, Winter Ready, a book-length narrative poem, The Immigrant’s Contract (Godine, 2008)in which Kinsey chronicles the life of a French-Canadian man who was his neighbor in North Troy, and Sledding on Hospital Hill (Godine, 2003).

Kinsey grew up the second of five siblings on a farm in South Albany. The rugged and beautiful region has been home to his relatives for more than two centuries: Kinsey’s Scottish Presbyterian ancestors cleared the woods with axes, saws and horses to settle four Northeast Kingdom towns: Albany, Craftsbury, Glover, and Greensboro.

Standing in a field in South Albany in the spring of 2014, looking at the land around him, Kinsey said: “Here we go, I can see my world. If there’s a physical center to my universe, this may be it.”