Wednesday, April 15, 2015


By the time I get ready to travel to Sewanee, Tennessee this week-end, I hope that the Louisiana monsoons will have abated and won't follow me, and that all will be dry on The Mountain at my arrival. And by the time I've settled into my Sewanee retreat, A Lonely Grandmother, my latest book of poetry, should have made its debut with Border Press Books. It's No. 40 among my book publications, not counting one lost manuscript of a novel that was put away in an attic and the rats must have consumed (it was my raciest endeavor, so...). The new book of poetry will probably be on the market before my 80th birthday in May.

I told a good friend that A Lonely Grandmother has experienced so many birth problems, Grandmother has probably grown lonelier than ever, waiting for her debut. But she's about to emerge, and straight from the publisher's blurb: "A Lonely Grandmother emphasizes that no matter the period in human history, grandmothers have always been important, cherished women in the family constellation. In this volume of poetry, a maternal grandmother calls the poet's family 'a tempest in a teapot,' but is only showing concern for her grandchildren's dysfunctional upbringing. A stern but forgiving figure in the poet's early life, Grandmother Nell comes to realize that "the children grown/Absolutes will not keep her company."

This is a poetic tribute to a grandparent that spans a family history from the poet's childhood to adulthood and ends with a meditative prose piece that serves as closure: "She closed the heavy door behind me. When I reached the sidewalk, I looked up at the cupola on the roof of the old house. A phantom flew out of the window beneath it and disappeared in the sky."

The beautiful cover of A Lonely Grandmother, which depicts the cupola on my deceased Grandmother Nell's Victorian home in Franklinton, Louisiana, is Vickie Sullivan's photograph of a glass piece conceived and rendered by Karen Bourque, an exquisite glass artist from Churchpoint, Louisiana. Cover design is by grandson Martin Romero, who is a landscape architect practicing in New Orleans, Louisiana. Martin is also an accomplished graphic artist.

A Lonely Grandmother is now available online at, or from Border Press, PO Box 3124, Sewanee, TN 37375 for $15 plus $4 shipping and handling.
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