What if you felt you didn’t belong where you lived?
In Far from Atlantis, Raymond Luczak tells stories of two vastly different worlds: the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which often looks like an island on the map, and the fabled island of Atlantis.
While recounting his troubled childhood as the only deaf person in a large hearing family, Luczak aligns himself with mythological, monstrous, and superhuman beings who, like him, exist on the margins. These poems feature figures lost to history like Lucy Frances Fitzhigh Hooe and Louis Moilanen, along with 1970s pop culture icons like the Six Million Dollar Man, the Incredible Hulk, and Wonder Woman.
In those days of no closed captions, I barely understood
a word of dialogue zipping between Buck and Wilma
as they hopped in and out of makeshift jets
that didn’t seem to require much power to blast off
into outer space without a single rumble …
FAR FROM ATLANTIS: “Years Before the Flood”
FAR FROM ATLANTIS: “Numbers”
“I have long been a fan of Raymond Luczak’s writing, but Far from Atlantis moves into another stratosphere. In poems that shimmer with the harshness of a literally and figuratively cold childhood in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, deafness separates Luczak from the hearing-centric world; indeed, even from his own hearing family. Aching with memory and longing, searching for the mythic in our human bodies, and exploring what disappears and what can be recovered, including the bounty of the fabled Atlantis, these richly imagined poems left me spellbound.”— Andrea Scarpino, author of “Once Upon Wing Lake”
“Prolific and talented poet Raymond Luczak has published another powerful collection, a lyric autobiography that draws on the myth-filled waters of his youth in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. These expertly controlled poems dive into the alienation, pain, and longing of being othered in an ableist world: ‘There had to be a better planet where I didn’t have to feel like an alien . . . could touch the stars.’ Luczak ultimately finds redemption through community: ‘I had no idea I’d be waiting for the right supernova to shine.’ From the watery depths of Lake Superior to the intergalactic travels of superheroes, these glorious poems shine strong.”— Kathryn Kysar, author of “Pretend the World” and “Dark Lake”