Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Poet Sydney Lea Reads New Work

Newbury, Vermont, poet Sydney Lea is a dedicated outdoorsman (yes, that means sometimes hunter, but mostly these days just tramping the hills with a dog or two), Dartmouth professor, and author of some of the best collections of New England narrative poetry. His PURSUIT OF A WOUND was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer in 2000, and his eighth collection, GHOST PAIN, dips into the effort of "recovery" while also nailing the conversations of living in Vermont, word by word by heart by soul. Most recently, Story Line Press brought out a collection of his essays, A LITTLE WILDNESS: SOME NOTES ON RAMBLING. It's a perfect companion for this season of the year, when the flaming leaves have left the northern hillsides and "stick season" marches across the slopes, wet and gray and barren.

On Friday November 3 at 3:30 p.m., at the Grace Stuart Orcutt Library on the St. Johnsbury Academy campus (see www.stjacademy.org for directions or call Jean Fournier, library director, at 802-751-2100), Lea plans to read from his newest work, as yet unpublished but with the working title AMERICAN DREAM. He noted last weekend, with a wicked tilt of the head, that this collection is "more political." That may be the enduring legacy of the Bush Administration's actions: that poets, even the ones who'd normally immerse themselves, like Robert Frost, in the struggles of the hill folks and the mysteries of the land, are moved into the arena of American assertion.

More on this collection after Syd reads from it -- better yet, come hear him in person.

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