by Jacob Strautmann
Four Way Books, 2024
eISBN: 978-1-961897-07-6 | Paper: 978-1-961897-06-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3619.T74345
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6


New Vrindaban lives in the disputed territory between the past and present, between the idealistic hopes and complicated reality of creating a better world. An electrifying collision of uniquely Appalachian cultural forces, the formal division of poems into “Side One” and “Side Two” pay homage to the concept albums of 1970s garage rock, while the book’s title alludes to the intentional Hare Krishna community in West Virginia founded in the same era. 

Jacob Strautmann’s latest collection builds an extraordinary temple on the compromised ground — it houses the compressed narratives of varied characters, monumentalizes the beautiful illusions of failed ideas, and remembers the irretrievable innocent love of youth. The music of New Vrindaban is both a ballad of survivor’s guilt and the raucous soundtrack of a record party among friends. It is the “black swift-moving waters,” “the bright clouds unmoored in the wind.”

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