Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

“Gloria establishes himself as a poet of memory, of masculinity, as well as of Asian American political identity…. His formal resourcefulness and his attention to manhood, its symbols, its troubles, place him in the company of Bruce Smith, though his work will also, and rightly, find another niche among other Asian American writers; Gloria sets himself confidently against injustice, in favor of inquiry, amid the eclectic language of contemporary scenes.” —Publishers Weekly (June 25, 2012)

  “Eugene Gloria spins the elegant, elegiac songs of a longtime traveler, moving through vast, painterly landscapes, among the deep spirits of exile and all that hovers just out-of-reach for every border-crosser. There’s a keen sense of fleeting presence on this earth coupled with quick insight for clues along the path–a darting, deep eye turned to rich detail and melancholy, and the startling possibilities of linkage that meandering brings. His gift is breathtaking.”


“Gloria gets better and better. His new work practices a profound care for the particulars of an individual life and the world at large, integrating the values of philosophical inquiry, reverie, and imagination. Poem after poem enacts a yearning for wilder and deeper sense of human belonging, using language that has all the luminosity and intensity of a spiritual pilgrimage, and the melancholy of racial, cultural, and spiritual alienation. These elegant, intelligent, and passionate poems hurt and reward us.”


“Gloria’s new book demonstrates a central quality of poetry: the power to hear harmonies beyond the obvious ones, finding new undertones of meaning…Gloria brings the historical and contemporary into fresh, vivid, relation.”

ROBERT PINSKY, The Washington Post

Selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for The National Poetry Series

“Eugene Gloria’s Drivers at the Short-Time Motel is propelled by an imagistic sincerity and paced lyricism. Each poem seems to embody the plain-spoken as well as the embellishments that we associate with classical and modern Asian poetry…Though many of the poems address the lingering hurt of cultural and economic imperialism, worlds coexist in the same skin through magical imagery. Gauged by a keen eye, history is scrutinized, but through a playful exactness. These wonderful poems are trustworthy.”


“Eugene Gloria’s luminous poems explore the complexities of history, of being both Filipino and American, as well as what it means to be husband, lover, brother, son, and poet. A keen intelligence, a musical ear, and a generous soul are at work here. Gloria’s powerful images are evoked with an eye for sensual, plain-spoken beauty. Drivers at the Short-Time Motel is a wonderful achievement.”


“Eugene Gloria has built a rich poetry out of family memoir, out of sojourns and residencias in Filipino transnational culture, all with captivating, deliberately mythopoeic perspective. He has become unique as a poet, possessing the emotional depth and writerly patience to both describe a landscape and explain a globalized, postcolonial perspective on horror, poverty, splendor, and diaspora. His Drivers at the Short-Time Motel brings us poems of real emotional weight and richness blessed with attractive tone of mystery and romance, yet abundant in realistic detail, finely wrought images, and a clean, sharply defined lineational style. As powerful as his subjects are, he handles them all with delicate, folkloric, and appreciative touch full of craft and traditional poetic discipline.”