Neither the beauty nor the brokenness of the world escapes Verandah Porche’s grasp in her newest collection, Sudden Eden. The orchard and the neighbor’s homely sayings share equally with time and eternity. She is a wise poet who knows her land and its neighbors and the deeper truths of living a rural life in which “Late fruit/keeps its edge as frost/fleeces the pasture.” These poems are about the investments one makes in life, in its loves and causes, its earth and trees, its human community.
From the Raft
From the Raft is a book written in wisdom by a poet whose eye sees clearly and comprehends. His gaze transforms the barest of circumstances into stories and celebrates the everyday in human actions and nature’s “green espous[al]” with equal sympathy. There is sadness too as gathering voids fill with what remains (“Crows have arrived….I hear losses….”). In language, Tom Smith finds what remains to celebrate and to mourn and treats each, in its turn, with a wry and tender grace.
Hiram and Sibyl Eisenberg have fallen head-over-heels in love with Leif and Laura Wrightson. Leif and Laura return all the same passion for Sibyl and Hiram, yet all four remain committed to their spouses. What to do? The year is 1971, the place is California, and what never before seemed possible is suddenly irresistible. Camping on the shores of Fallen Lake in the high Sierra, one night they begin a new direction in their lives and those of their children, turning two marriages into one. Soon the lovers realize that they will have to pay deeply for living out their fantasy. But Fallen Lake is equally the story of the Wrightson and Eisenberg children. Swept along by their parents complicated romance, these four find themselves pioneers in a new kind of adolescence. Read about Fallen Lake and the related interactive novel. Or visit the website of the author, Laird Harrison.
Yvonne Daley had worked as an award-winning journalist and traveled widely, but had never lived in an inner-city neighborhood before moving to San Francisco in 2003. In Octavia Boulevard, we follow Daley as she chronicles the lives of her fellow apartment dwellers and the homeless people living in her neighborhood, the characters who hold forth at the corner coffee shop and the events that contribute to San Francisco’s reputation as the nation’s most enterprising and original city. Her memoir is simultaneously funny and heartbreaking as she explores the impact of the counterculture and deinstitutionalization, the conflict between progressive politics and capitalism, and her own response to people sleeping outside her door while the city spends tens of thousands to install mature palm trees and kaleidoscopes on the corner.