Raymond Luczak juxtaposes elements from mythology and the supernatural against his childhood memories growing up in Ironwood, Michigan.
In Far from Atlantis, Raymond Luczak makes use of traditional poetic forms to tell the 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. The poems in this collection are rooted in the natural world, with the power of water as a means for escaping the cruelty and tedium of an ableist society. 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. The narratives invoked and the worlds created in these poems are both autoethnographic and speculative, and include figures lost to history like Lucy Frances Fitzhigh Hooe and Frances Peterson, along with 1970s pop culture icons like the Six Million Dollar Man and Wonder Woman.
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of over thirty books, including the poetry collections Chlorophyll, Lunafly, and once upon a twin, which was selected as a Top Ten U.P. Notable Book of the Year for 2021. His prose titles include A Quiet Foghorn: More Notes from a Deaf Gay Life, From Heart into Art: Interviews with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Artists and Their Allies, and the award-winning Deaf gay novel Men with Their Hands. Luczak’s work has appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. An inaugural Zoeglossia Poetry Fellow, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“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"