This was the first book of Richard Hugo's I ever read, and I fell in love with his poetry. He has a way of writing about a place that makes it universal, that finds the symbols and themes in the ordinary that we can all connect with and relate to. His language is very concrete and succint; this is not a flowery poet. And yet the direct language has a music all its own. Themes are subtley presented, yet clear.
My favorite poems include: "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg" (an oft quoted poem that includes the line "...The last good kiss / you had was years ago", which was the basis for the title of "The Last Good Kiss" by James Crumley, another late Montana author), "The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field" (a modern loose vilanelle), and "West Marginal Way".
Richard Hugo also wrote a book called "The Triggering Town", in which he talked about how places played an important role in his poetry. I recommend that anyone who reads and enjoys this book of collected poem should also check out "The Triggering Town".