Join us to hear Syd Lea read from and discuss his new book of poems, Here.
In his thirteenth book of poetry, Sydney Lea gives voice to the deep connection between human life and the natural world as well as their fragility and transience. Here, nature is as much a muse as a trigger for sense memory--as a schoolboy on a playground "breathing in autumn mud, / that cherished aroma" or as witness to a redtail hawk's attack and the aftermath during which "That poor doomed duckling's wisps of down / Floated in air like snowflakes, /Diaphanous." Death is a constant presence in these poems, too, arising from the bittersweet awareness of what eventually will be lost. While there is reckoning, there are few regrets in a life well-lived and closely observed. Here is a title, but it's also a statement, an incantation and affirmation: "Let's chant it throughout the year," Lea writes, "like so much birdsong: we're here we're here we're here."
Sydney Lea, a former Pulitzer finalist, founded and for thirteen years edited New England Review. This is his thirteenth poetry collection and his twentieth book. He will soon publish The Music of What Happens: Lyric and Everyday Life, his collected newspaper columns from his years (2011-15) as Vermont Poet Laureate. His collaborative book of essays with former Delaware laureate Fleda Brown, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives, appeared in 2018. He has been active in literacy efforts and conservation, especially in Maine, where the land trust he chaired until 2018 conserved nearly 400,000 acres of working forest.
"Sydney Lea has always been a poet equally eloquent and wide-eyed before reality. This self-aware book of experience, stock-taking, and memory finds him just now, just here, a person still hopeful in the face of it all, a poet at the height of his powers." --Jane Hirshfield
Read about the poet's reading interests and influences in The Book Jam's 3 Question Interview.
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In his thirteenth book of poetry, Sydney Lea gives voice to the deep connection between human life and the natural world as well as their fragility and transience.$24.95ISBN: 9781732266230Availability: Hard to Find (may be out of print - email to check availability)Published: Green Writers Press - June 21st, 2018
With its mystical landscape and fiercely self-reliant citizenry, Vermont has inspired poets from its earliest days. This anthology of contemporary Vermont poets represents a wide range of accomplished voices?both young and old, both renowned and relatively unestablished. Their poems reverberate with what W.H. Auden called “memorable speech” in a wide variety of forms and subjects.$19.95ISBN: 9780999499559Availability: On Our Shelves Now (email to confirm availability)Published: Green Writers Press - July 27th, 2018
Sydney Lea and Fleda Brown, past poets laure