Posting this blog tonight as tomorrow I am packing up and on the road to Decorate Ornate in Gladewater, Texas for Stephanie Chance’s Christmas Open House. I will be there as a featured artist as Stephanie has created an art gallery space for me in her shop of European Treasures. I have never been so fortunate. The event starts at 5:00 p.m. Santa Claus will be there too and I so look forward to getting into the holiday spirit with Stephanie Chance! She’s on Facebook under Stephanie Chance and Decorate Ornate so see you there with my Pulpwood Queen Executive Director, Tiajuana Anderson Neel traveling in from Longview, Texas!
Truly, Tiara Wearing and Book Sharing,
Kathy L. Murphy
Every day authors contact me, “Could they send me their book?” And I respond full well knowing that my ever- growing stacks keep getting higher and higher. They are dangerously close to taking out something precious in my little cabin in the Piney woods, Murphy’s Law, perhaps even toppling over on one of my cats. But, perilous as life is as living dangerously with books, what if I miss that next great read? That is always my question as I try to encourage and promote authors, books, literacy, and reading.
So then I receive this package from author, Clifford Brooks containing three books of poetry and THIS, three page handwritten letter. Let me say that again, a three page handwritten letter. I was impressed after reading the personal inscription,the dedication ,the contents, the dedication and introduction, yes, I read all of those, I began to read the first poem in the first book I picked up.
From “The Draw of Broken Eyes & Whirling Metaphysic: Poems” with the author’s permission:
Ode to Morning Glories
Morning glories crept up
to the balcony,
stowaways in a canna lily.
You blossom as soon
as your sister wilts,
Among the African violets
and swollen jade,
you are queens.
Clifford Brooks had my attention as I read it again and again savoring each word.
From then I randomly began flipping pages and reading the poems each one of them making me pause, reflect, and read over. I was instantly smitten with the rendering of words down to perfection. I could feel that tingle of the knowing I had hit “gold in thar hills” and began to read a bit more.
The more I read the more I wanted to know but with other pressing tasks at hand I decided to devote this Sunday to truly reading the books. In the meantime, I went online to do some quick research as this is what I do when I find an author I cannot believe I have never heard of before and lo and behold.
I found out a lot. Some pretty great blurbs, one as follows:
Clifford Brooks writes passionate, eloquent poetry, as wide ranging as the models he sometimes invokes, including the blues and the epics.
—–Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States.
The more I read the more intrigued I became as he was nominated for Pulitzer Prize for “The Draw of Broken Eyes…” but what really made me consider his books for possible Pulpwood Queen Book Club selection is he’s a pay it forward kind of guy. I love that! I still wince about the author who once told me he never read anyone else’s books. I still am appalled about anyone bragging of that extremely poor taste in judgement. Now here was an author who started about ten years ago collectively bringing together handpicked creative artists, musicians, playwrights, poets, and visual artists to eventually form a group called the Southern Collective Experience. How did I not know of this? What else do I not know? Being a life long learner I plunged ahead…
That group went on to become The Blue Mountain Review and the NPR radio show Dante’s Old South. It is one thing to promote yourself but to promote others, he now definitely had my attention.
So mark my words, Clifford Brooks will be brought into the fold of The Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Reading Nation reading collective. Stay tuned for more but the the meantime, check out these websites at:
To order his books: www.kudzuleafpress.com