—Vince Cioffi Winner of the 1999 Stegner Fellowship in PoetryBen Mitchell's "Only the Sound Itself" reminds us to think about the experiences that made us who we are. This poetry acts as a wake up call to make us realize how hectic and crazy our lives have become. The theme of nature throughout the collection allows one to see the peace and serenity that used to exist and how the simplicity of life is lost as we take on responsibilities, fall in love, and eventually grow into adulthood.
"These poems require us to approach with an uncorrupted humanity. The poems insist on dignifying us. They have an almost theological ambition in that they love us, not in spite of our imperfections, but because of them and in so doing they shock us into our better selves and guarantee us salvation. This is a book to be grateful for. Its generosity elevates us."