Publication Date:  September 1, 2016
Paperback, 104 pages
ISBN:  978-1-937968-27-4
Booksellers:  Available from
Small Press Distribution
Robert Eastwood lives in San
Ramon, California. He has had many
jobs: a soda jerk, a turret lathe
operator, a construction laborer, a
gardener, a soldier, a telephone
craftsman, a manager, an engineer, a
statistician, a labor contract
negotiator, a business executive, and
a high school English teacher.
Throughout his life he has written
poems and stories as an alternative
but persistent calling. His prize-
winning poems have appeared in
many literary journals and
anthologies, such as
, New Zoo Poetry Review,
ages and these pages (though watch out for a certain Colt pistol along the way as
well), through tales that link Civil War and Cold War, persona poems and memoir.  
Mad, maimed Boston Corbett, assassin's assassin, seeks refuge from the demons of
both geography and a retreat from modernity between them and their fears.  In lesser
hands the result might have been chaotic, but Eastwood's mastery of language and
detail weaves these seemingly disparate threads into a rich tapestry of memory.  
What we cannot escape, we must try to comprehend, perhaps celebrate.

Praise for Robert Eastwood's Snare:

Click here to read an interview with Robert Eastwood about Snare on the Open
Alphabet website.

Robert Eastwood was profiled in this
article from the East Bay Times.

"In Robert Eastwood’s Snare, voices from the past, both historical and personal,
insinuate themselves into the present even as the present sinks into the past and time
becomes the snare that entraps us all.  Only imagination can free us, allowing us to
travel beyond ourselves in time and space, and Eastwood's imagination is far more
than adequate to the task.  In these poems, as stunning in their images as they are
authentic in their cadences, Eastwood becomes the historical figures to whom he
gives voice, most compellingly in the splendid long poem 'All Is Done.'  These voices
yield to his own as a boy and then as a man, and cumulatively render the world
imagined and the world remembered in all its cruelty and beauty.  These are poems
that matter to the mind and to the heart."
                                                              Lynne Knight

Snare, Robert Eastwood sniffs the citronella of memory, a cue far more bitter
than Proust's madeleine, with none of Wordsworth’s tranquility.  What that dark odor
unlocks is a past steeped in threat and fear.  Some of this past is personal, some of it
historical. We glimpse Emily Dickinson through the eyes of her ambivalent
'Preceptor,' Thomas Wentworth Higginson:  'She made phrases twist & wriggle / into
shirt-sleeves one thought too tight / for sense.'  Eastwood does as much, delving into
the darker corners of his country’s history.  He shows us, for example, the Sand
Creek massacre as well as the madness of 'Boston' Corbett, the man who killed John
Wilkes Booth.  That early darkness, as he demonstrates, becomes the template for
later times, for his own nuclear-era America, his family in flight from the all-too-
vulnerable West Coast.  What they find in their new home in the Ozarks is refuge,
but also squalor and poverty, the 'Smell of mold . . . no toilet, no inside water.  But
refuge.'  In verse that is deft and sensual, attuned to sound and rhythm, Eastwood
conjures not just memories but their physical embodiment, taking us back to his own
and his country’s childhood, a time of wonder, but also of terror."

                                                              Lee Rossi

"Robert Eastwood transforms historical narrative into a tool for exploring interior
themes of violence and refuge. Though he doesn't hesitate to take on universal issues,
he is a master of the immediate and the visceral. Whether it's the Civil War or the
Cold War, we relive it through all the senses, encountering 'the odor of beaver soak,'
'the pleady voices of mothers,' 'the bitterness of backyard burning.' His historical
portraits and persona poems are as richly reimagined as his own Cold War boyhood,
or his present day search for his former home. This book is a descriptive tour-de-
                                                              Jeanne Wagner
Poems by
Cover and Book Design by Laurie Powers
Hartskill Review, Spry, Loch Raven Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Steel Toe
and others. His chapbooks are Over Plainsong, The Welkin Gate, and Night
of the Moth
, published by Small Poetry Press. He has twice been nominated for the
Pushcart Prize.