Osing here draws on the Mississippi Delta blues tradition to advance his understanding of Poetry, Literature, America and the writer's sense of place therein.
What a powerful little volume Osing has put together. The personal essays—eccentric and lovingly conceived and penned. There used to be a whole lot more of this kind of delicacy in American literature. I'm thinking Edward Dahlberg, Kenneth Rexroth, the youthful William Saroyan. These essays gleaned from journals cross over into poetry and the poems circle back into the notions and experiences Osing so tauntingly captures in exciting prose. No sojourn into cultural and intimate geography will ever be quite the same for me.
The Water Radical will come to rank with the best of the travel journals, verse or prose. It’s captivating, and its resolutions are marvelous.
The Jazzer & The Loitering Lady is a most startling autobiography, really. A trip to the harsh, beautiful geography of ‘home,’ and the terrifying psychic territory of his own germination as a man and artist. At times painful, most
often riotously funny, lines jump off each page like cut diamonds reflecting the clear light of accurate, cutting observation.
Tom Collins, Albuquerque Journal
Gordon Osing has taught at the University of Memphis since 1973. He founded there The River City Writers Series, now in its twenty-second year. He is the author of From the Boundary Waters and A Town Down-River. He has also translated widely from the Chinese. His travels to China inform his other verse and journal collection, The Water Radical. “The Center is everywhere attention gathers,” he has said of his work in verse, prose, and translation.