Join us on Tuesday, November 15th, at 7 PM for a reading and book signing with poets Christopher Howell and David Axelrod for their newest books Book of Beginnings and Ends and Years Beyond the River.
Book of Beginnings and Ends focuses on the continuing dance between initial and terminal experiences, effects, and conditions. The poems in the book's four sections come in a wide variety of tones and emotional postures, from hilarity to deep grief, in their quest for balance, some means of containing and celebrating both extremes. The the poems propose, in fact, that, along with a persistent kindness, achieving and celebrating such balance is life's essential work. This new volume takes on its subject matter with the lyric imagination, tenderness, clarity and force readers of Howell's writing have come to expect.
In the exquisite naturally charged poems of David Axelrod’s ninth collection, Years Beyond the River, an encounter with thorn or wildflower is new life, the rotted heartwood of fir becomes memory, and the delicate brush of a bat wing upon the skin echoes the beloved walking through the dark. Fire-haunted and fire-hunted we exist in a oneness with all things beckoning both death and life. What we know of the soul crosses the span of “Orion's spiral arm” and remembers what it means to be wilderness. There is abundance and loss among the terrible singular notion of rivers and trees passing away. There is beauty, grace, and strength interwoven with the scent of sage in our clothes as we breathe and dream and love. —Shann Ray
About the Authors:
Born in Portland, Oregon, Christopher Howell attended Pacific Lutheran and Oregon State Universities, and, after serving as a military journalist during the Viet Nam war, received graduate degrees from Portland State University and the University of Massachusetts. He is author of twelve previous collections of poems, most recently The Grief of a Happy Life (U. Washington Press, 2019), Love’s Last Number and Gaze (both from Milkweed Editions), and Dreamless and Possible: Poems New and Selected (U. Washington Press, 2010). He has received the Washington State Governor’s Award, the Washington State Book Award, two fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, two from the Artist Trust, and a number of other fellowships and awards, including three Pushcart prizes. His poems, essays, and interviews may be found in many journals and in more than forty-five anthologies. Since 1996 he has lived in Spokane, where he is Emeritus Professor on Eastern Washington University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing faculty. He is married to the artist Barbara Ellen Anderson, and they have a son, Evan, who is also a painter.
David Axelrod's most recent collection of poems is Years Beyond the River, from Terrapin Books in 2022. New poems appeared recently or are forthcoming in bracken, december, Sky Island Journal, Terrain, and Willow Springs. His second collection of nonfiction, The Eclipse I Call Father: Essays on Absence, was published in 2019 by Oregon State University Press. He's currently collaborating on a Letterpress and Book Arts program with Peter Koch and others at the University of Montana. He makes his home in Missoula.