For the Sake of the Light

New and Selected Poems

By Sexton, Tom

6 x 9, 208 pages

Format: Paper and electronic

Price: $22.95

Published: April 2009

This collection of new and selected poems by the former poet laureate of Alaska, Tom Sexton, opens a door on the essence of life in Alaska and Maine. Sexton divides his time between the two states, and he captures here the small but powerful sensual details of day-to-day life in these contrasting, yet similar, environs. His carefully crafted verse distills the birch and aspen, lynx and ptarmigan, and the snow on high peaks. Through his poems we thrill to experience encounters with the wild, the seasons, and the sublime landscape.

Tom Sexton was poet laureate of Alaska from 1995 to 2000. He is the author of eight books of poetry. His latest, A Clock with No Hands, is a collection of poems about his childhood in Lowell, Massachusetts.


His poetry offers images so precise, insights so profound, and language so fresh that our world returns to us renewed. This book is a must-have for any reader of Alaska literature and for any reader of contemporary poetry.
Peggy Shumaker, author of Blaze, Underground Rivers, Wings Moist from the Other World, Braided River, The Circle of Totems, and Esperanza's Hair.

His language is clear, without tricks or fancy moves, yet his directness is powerful, and the effects are human.
Paul Zimmer, Georgia Review

Any occasion for a new Tom Sexton book is an event worth celebrating. He is one of those contemporary poets with a genuine ear for the appropriate music of the line, to which he adds an eye for the lucid image, and a knack for moving beyond mere anecdote to the heartwood of the genuine poem. No wonder he is loved.
Sam Green, poet laureate, Washington state