Monday, January 21, 2008

Deep Winter at Kingdom Books

[our neighbor Lois snapped this photo last week of a winter-hungry owl who arrived in her yard just in time to snatch up a careless gray squirrel -- so she calls the photo "Grocery Shopping"]

Nights drift below zero, days drift with snow... but we keep the path to the door shoveled, and in this quiet season, we're preparing for a spring of poetry. Consider this a maple tree, with sap close to erupting up the trunk, waiting only for the bright sunny days of March.

And in March, Kingdom Books cosponsors WYN COOPER reading at the Grace Stuart Orcutt Library on the St. Johnsbury Academy campus, in the Fireside Literary Series there. Wyn comes north from the Brattleboro area on Friday March 29, and his event starts at 3:30 p.m. We'll bring his published books -- including POSTCARDS FROM THE INTERIOR -- and some music he's done with Madison Smartt Bell. Count on hearing some of his new sonnets from his latest collection. I don't have any copies of the new ones yet, but here's an earlier sonnet from Wyn:

American Violence

If I jumped from my chair, crossed the room
In three giant strides, fists clenched--
And on the third stride he began to rise,
The cigarette falling slowly from his fingers,
The most helpless man on earth--
It would not cross my mind to stop, just
As it would be wrong merely to scare him:
By my second stride he knows what's coming
And he knows he will take it.
There are people in the room and we can't let them down.
What would they think if I shrugged and walked away?
What would they say if he sat back down,
Picked up his cigarette and began to smoke?
He looks at me and there's no turning back.

("American Violence" appears in THE COUNTRY OF HERE BELOW)

Also ahead: Our noted Poets' Tea in April, celebrating National Poetry Month and more specifically celebrating publication of Barton, Vermont, poet Leland Kinsey's new collection THE IMMIGRANT'S CONTRACT:

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