Hemingway in Paradise
and Other Mormon Poems
What is the spirit world like? Can you rob a bank there? Can you fall in love?
Hemingway in Paradise and Other Mormon Poems, the debut poetry collection of Scott Hales, explores these questions—and many others—as it takes readers on a rollicking trek across distinct latter-day landscapes, speculative worlds where Ernest Hemingway watches his language, Christopher Columbus sails the icy oceans of hell, and an early Mormon apostle chases down a stone giant.
“One of the purposes of poetry is pleasure, and Scott Hales’s collection offers readers quite a romp. The paradise he invents is a varied place, with breakfast cafés and bowling arcades. Not only are the poems inventive and surprising, they also raise questions about agency and what we will learn about ourselves in the afterlife. A collection worth reading and re-reading.”—Susan Elizabeth Howe, author of Stone Spirits
”Scott Hales writes with a clarity that is as refreshing as it is startling. He proves that poetry can be delightful, charming, revealing, and heartbreaking all on the same page—in the same stanza.”—Dave Nielsen, author of Unfinished Figures
”Hemingway in Paradise and other Mormon Poems enchants with Scott Hales’s admixture of charm, wit, pathos, and humor. Each of these beautifully wrought poems is a story. A story that twists into the unexpected both in subject and execution. Each poem is a delight. There are no misses. I love everything about this collection. As a general rule of abundant living, one should read everything Scott writes. But especially this. Especially this.”—Steven L. Peck, author of Incorrect Astronomy
”Scott Hales is a Mormon storyteller and poet extraordinaire. I thoroughly enjoyed his debut collection—a quirky mix of personal, confessional, and imaginative narrative poems shot through with nostalgia. Every piece is a well-painted picture full of crisp imagery, gentle humor, and enough Mormon history and pop culture to appeal to the nerdiest of us.”—Merrijane Rice, author of Grace Like Water
“When I die, I dearly hope that I’ll get to hang out in Scott Hales’s version of Paradise before the resurrection. For one thing, I wouldn’t be bored.”—Darlene Young, author of Homespun and Angel Feathers