Jude writes of losses, letting go, death, dying, mourning, mostly remembering; bringing remembering to me, though my memories are always there in my shadow even when I have no shadow. I feel the depth in his writing as it encourages me to take time to write a poem for each of my own many losses.
Clearly I see the portrait of his sister he writes about, my dear friend Anne, younger then, with the simple beauty of daisies and the sun lighting her hair. She adored her brother.
Fortunately, each of my lost loves i.e. ancestors, parents, siblings, sons, and friends, has come to me at least once, a few have come often but each time has been comforting. Life after life and all after love. This is a special chapbook that has important insights to give you, written in many different ways.
This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.
Finishing my memoir-interviewing for the next ghostly book-reaching for submissions for this year’s anthology-seeking recipes for the cookbook, accepting stories for the grandmother’s book-writing lesson plans for the writers’ groups-formatting a teaching program-planning a new poetry book-publishing books for others!
The September First Friday continues to exceed my expectations! I thought that the holiday weekend would bring us a small group dedicated to our efforts of bringing poetry and oral expression to Warren County. Instead, the Warren Food Works (WFW) was packed with a diverse crowd from 18 to 80 mingling, enjoying each other while eating, drinking, and soaking up the words cast out into the atmosphere.
A wide range of poetic subjects seeping from the hearts of writers-Warren County writers, and Virginia writers, too, silenced the room with absorption. The always-welcome songs sung so beautifully by Shavon Russell Jones and afterwards, her sister, (forgive me I didn’t get her name.) A big surprise to everyone when volunteer from behind the bar, Cris Hunter ended the evening with the most beautiful rendition of Nature Boy. It brought some tears for the beauty of it. Their voices were like melted chocolate, velvety smooth and mesmerizing to everyone.
Miranda Medlin offered a stirring presentation, taking all into her realm. Devonte, a poet from our last year anthology Sitting with a Drunken Sorceress gave us his words and Travis Bullock continues to bring people in just to hear what he has to tell us.
So many others came to read, to share thoughts, feelings, and to merely listen. It was a very full night; a night to show Thomas Park what his dream has wrought; a night to make him proud for all his efforts.