Like the wire that secures a composition notebook, If Not These Things spirals poems of wonder, humor, close attention and appraised experience, over and over to the reader’s delight.
"Read this very fine book for its wisdom, its unswerving candor, for the enduring imagistic liturgy it distills...."
*Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate (2012-2014) and author of Light at the Seam
"You can feel the poet’s mind here, flying over this book’s landscape like the shadow of a flock of birds...."
* Keith Flynn, author of The Skin of Meaning and editor of The Asheville Poetry Review
"If Not These Things offers a clear and tender eye for unexpected correspondences which rise, like whales in suburban lawns, from the quotidian...."
* Catherine Carter, author of Larvae of the Nearest Star and winner of the James Applewhite Poetry Prize
The Best Material for the Artist in the World
Albert Bierstadt--A Biography in Poems
Coming from Stephen F. Austin University Press in March 2023
Renowned 19th-century landscape painter Albert Bierstadt was born in Germany and came to America with his parents at age two. Growing up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the young artist apprenticed in Europe, but the Rocky Mountains and Yosemite Valley became the subjects driving his expansive, often romanticized sense of nature. Though best known for large-scale paintings with atmospheric trees and ethereal lighting, Bierstadt was also a master of intimate detail and animal portraiture.
Chamlee’s biography-in-poems follows the arc of Bierstadt’s life and career, from youth to extraordinary success to eventual decline. Primarily in the artist’s voice, the poems also speak through other important characters, renderings of specific paintings, and the poet’s own sense of engagement. With realistic description and emotional embrace, the poems reveal Bierstadt’s determination to depict a glorious post-war West, as well as a growing recognition of personal and historical loss.
See a sample of Albert Bierstadt's work in the slideshow below.
The paintings shown are in the public domain.
Buffalo Trail: The Impending Storm (Corcoran Collection, National Gallery of Art)