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Doug Reads Poetry

Doug has been reading local poets and delving into a few new collections. He says: “Whatever your taste or interest there is a book of poems that will ring all the bells for you, or shift your perspective in unexpected ways.” Here are Doug’s recent notable selections along with his pithy blurbs.

A Taste of Salt: Poems by Mary Katherine Wainwright

Such beautifully written poetry, moving and yet never overplays the emotion. Relies on the hints and suggestions of words that relay the shared experiences of life. The author says she is moving back to Mexico and will not be staying in Sarasota. Our loss, their gain! All I could say after reading this first and only collection of poems, is please, more! Looking forward to our Zoom Club for her book on Wednesday, November 10. Register here.

My Roberto Clemente by Rick Hilles

Coming in November, Rick will bring 6 copies to us directly after the first press run of this new chapbook. Exciting! We'll have a conversation about it after his reading on the 14th via Zoom. As life on a societal scale shifts, so do poems. Whether we are awake now or not, creatures of deceit vie for our attention and fealty. What can we do? Reading Rick Hilles' book is definitely one way to stir and inspire an open-eyed experience. If you’d like a taste of Rick’s poems before the chapbook arrives, you can pick up his earlier book, Map of the Lost World, here. Register for Rick's reading and conversation here.

Stones: Poems by Kevin Young

How does he do it? Keeps it simple, yet brings in the complexity of life and the personal touch of family memories, and, the larger scope of American history. I loved returning to his remarkable phrasing--the structure that says, sing me! Feel it! Now the Smithsonian's Director of the Natural Museum of African American History and Culture, he remains a constant force in a rich poetry that weaves what's lost with what remains today. ". . . the Grass sings . . . "

Such Color: New and Selected Poems by Tracy K. Smith

All the Tracy K. Smith books are here, the great poems she's written and selected. I rejoiced to read them all again. With particular intense attention to that poem with the title word I learned long ago from Lorca, Duende, and the other memory she rings for me with "dolor" I first heard in Derek Walcott's work. Then these final eighteen that take us where we must go whether we're ready or not. Out to the ledge where we are today, as the smoke curls up and the scents and sounds of burning and shouts of those who protest or fight the fires. Listen we must -- to the poets who teach us how to listen. She is moving us to read and understand. She is my choice far and away, beyond and above many read this year.

Orion's Belt at the End of the Drive by Pat Willams Owen

Yesterday, at the store, fellow bookseller Scott told me a customer came up and told him that she doesn't read much poetry, but picked up Orion's Belt at the End of the Drive, and was so blown away by how it spoke to her she had to have a copy! You go Pat Owen (author of Orion's Belt) -- one of our fine local poets.

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