Black Gum Against Thunder
by Robert P. Arthur
“…masterfully depicts life on and around the Chesapeake.” — Currents
“…passionate knowledge … keen observation.” — The News Journal, Delaware
“…as tough and genuine as a watermelon’s palm…these rhythms are the sway of boats on tide waters … wind, straining ropes, and snapping sails.” — Ghent Magazine
“…a a powerful introduction to those who do not know the Bay … a delightful reminder for those who do.” — Eastern Shore News
This first-ever collection includes the best of Robert P. Arthur’s hundreds of poems written over a forty-year career. They include “The Arrow”, “Wikipedia”, “The Poetess of Blue Streak Grill”, “Cattle Sleeping” (or “Sleeping Cattle”), “Appearances”, “Sunday Seizures”, and poems in series: Vija’s War, and Crazy Horse’s Woman.
Many are emotionally and intellectually charged monologues from the mouths of such diverse characters as disillusioned Jamestown settlers, Crazy Horse’s death/love obsessed woman, a Latvian child caught up in World War II, Appalachian snake handlers, Chesapeake Bay watermen, Vincent van Gogh, traumatized children, and Arthur himself. Together, they immortalize a doomed natural world with unparalleled beauty.
Arthur’s poems focusing on place have been podcast from San Francisco and his poem/plays produced on stage in Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, New York City, and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Ebook Edition, ISBN: 2940015808964, $5.99 US
Scavenging the Country for a Heartbeat
by Neil Shepard
“This is a poetry that can accommodate huge distances: prairie landscapes, the lush silences of the Atchafalaya swamp, the peculiarly American loneliness of a Midwestern campground by the side of the interstate … The pleasure of these poems is that their music both delineates and bridges the distances they evoke.” — Mark Doty
“There is a solid maturity about these poems that belies the fact that this is a first book. Shepard is, in fact, solidly mature, both in person and in craft… His special gift is the expansive narrative of image, a sort of hybrid of true narrative with emotionally crisp, almost lyric snapshots. There is both a pleasing directness and a pleasant musicality about Shepard’s work.” — Booklist
Scavenging the Country for a Heartbeat takes readers from the Maine coast to the Pacific Northwest, from Vermont to the Florida Keys, from the Louisiana swamps to the plains of Kansas and Nebraska. Guided by his belief that “what is missing/makes memory whole,” Neil Shepard revisits landscapes marred by conflict and compromise. What he discovers is solace and the possibility of transcendence. As a collection these poems detail an emotional evolution — a spiritual transformation — in which progress is measured in “the distances still stretching away.”
Trade Paper Edition: $9.95, ISBN: 2940016577746, available online and in stores.
Ebook Edition, ISBN: 978-1-937997-23-6, only $5.99, order below.