"I love your letters more than a blank page, for a poet of my age, that's saying a lot." (Shadow of a Wing, 2004) Andrew Calhoun's songwriting has the patience and clarity of a man who has lived a long time, who has loved, grieved, and traveled much, who has put pen to paper faithfully through many scenes and seasons. At the same time, Calhoun has a unique appreciation for the art of youth, which has earned his Waterbug Records label a reputation for discovering and supporting excellent young writers. It seems fitting, then, that Calhoun's newest album, Staring at the Sun, is a creative return to the unfinished work of his own youth. Deftly, tenderly, Calhoun brings the depth and focus of his experience to the vivid, inspired verse of his teenage years. The result is a poetic leap of faith; songs that soar on broad wings, borne up by the urgency and beat passion of the young and guided by the even-keeled wisdom of the ancients. Staring at the Sun includes some of Calhoun's bravest and most abstract songs; frenetic and poignant by turns, they demand the listener's full attention. Songs like "Kiss That Goblet" elicit triumphant cries of "go man, go!" while others, such as "John's Wife," inspire exquisite compassion and above all, silence. Staring at the Sun is evidence that Calhoun is among the most fearless, gifted, and avante poets of our time - keeping company with Leonard Cohen, Galway Kinnell, etc., and that he shows no sign of slowing down.