Seasons

A half-century ago, cradling my newborn PhD in American Poetry from SUNY/Buffalo, I began my writing life in earnest — a two-volume dissertation on William Carlos Williams prefaced by my teacher and mentor, Robert Creeley; my first translations from the poems of R. M. Rilke featured on the front page of American Poetry Review; my inaugural scholarly article on WCW and Valery Larbaud in American Literature magazine; and my home-grown founding and editorship of The Niagara Magazine, the inaugural number being an anthology of “poets of Western New York and Ontario.”

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My first book of poems, SEASONS, emerged soon thereafter, produced lovingly by the venerable Salt-Works Press helmed by my now departed, much-missed friend, Tom Bridwell. Printed and bound letterpress in the basement of the Dennis, Massachusetts General Store, two hundred fifty copies hand-set in 12-point Bodoni, with covers handmade from recycled ledger paper, marsh grass fiber, and (truly!) an old yellow button-down shirt from the floor of my closet. The cover graphic is a growth-ring print pulled directly from a tree stump.

SEASONS is a small press gem indeed. And yes, I must confess, the poems of my youth can still stand on their own — organic, modern influences and all. — N.B.

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