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Daybreak on the Water

October 1, 2020


As a child, Gary Lark camped where a creek joins Oregon’s North Umpqua River, “sleeping in the river’s voice.” Confessing that “there’s a part of me still there / surrounded by enormous trees / the river singing me alive,” he offers us Daybreak on the Water, his song-cycle paying homage to the Umpqua. Here, the communion among river and poet and reader is palpable: at the fisherman’s table, ” the platter is passed from hand to hand, / each tongue tasting the river / in the salmon’s flesh.” This fisherman’s river-poems carry what the Umpqua carries, “the wonderment of living things.”   -Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita


Daybreak on the Water is a vivid and authentic reminiscence of a rugged, playful, deliberate and reflective life among the wild woods and waterways of Oregon’s Umpqua valley. Lark’s warmly told and deftly detailed narratives provide a natural and cultural history that will entertain and edify generations of readers. We meet many colorful characters-loggers, anglers, clammers, boatbuilders, poachers, sheriffs, sweethearts and old friends- that allow us to press ourselves “into the tides of each other / releasing our unutterable selves.”

-Henry Hughes, Oregon Book Award-winning poet and author of Back Seat with Fish


The best place to get the book is direct from the author by emailing glark296@gmail.com, but you can also find it from our BookShop.org store. (And do note that the author gets the largest percentage of income if you buy direct; Flowstone/Left Fork supports you supporting them.)

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Gary Lark

Gary Lark's other work includes Ordinary Gravity (Airlie Press 2019), River of Solace (Flowstone Press 2016), In the House of Memory (BatCat Press 2016), Without a Map (Wellstone Press 2013), Getting By (Holland Prize from Logan House Press 2009). His poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Catamaran, Hubbub, Poet Lore, and ZYZZYVA. Gary and his wife Dorothy live in Oregon's Rogue Valley.