While it is difficult to write objectively yet critically about someone whom you know personally or about a book whose subject matter and/or authors are familiar, sometimes necessity is more than the mother of invention and you have to do things you normally or ethically wouldn’t do. Such is the case for me in writing a review about the recent publication Jonathan Williams: The Lord of Orchards about the life and legacy of the poet-publisher Jonathan William, whom I knew and was a relative neighbor of mine who lived just up the mountain from my home in Tuckasegee, on Scaly Mountain near the town of Highlands.
If the saying “timing is everything” is true, then John Lane’s new collection of poems by Mercer University Press is right on time.
After reading Doug Woodward’s book You Took the Kids WHERE? and as I write these words, it is still officially summer. Despite its somewhat deceptive title, this book is not about “how I spent my summer vacation,” or even your usual travel memoir. With a foreword by legendary alternative medical doctor and cultural icon Patch Adams, this book explores new territory in terms of family relationships and outdoor adventure.
If you are one of those people who thinks that the 1960s hippie culture was only about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, then think again, as you need to read Danny Goldberg’s new book In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea. Written by someone who was of age and who was there and a participating observer in 1967 at the height of “The Hip Era,” Goldberg has finally given the American public a truly accurate subjective account of the cultural revolution that went on during the 1960s.
Looking for something unique and different? Then I’ve got something for you.
In his Preface to Love Songs For A Country Lane, country music icon Chris Gantry writes: “Grant King was a thoughtful dreamer, a ponderer, like the statue of The Thinker. Now here he is a zillion light years later, still the dreamer with a love for the process that’s never left him, an elder statesman of the world with a collection of his poetry and poetic songs.”
In Jennifer Frick-Ruppert’s statement of intent at the back of her book, The Legend of Skyco, she states “While this is a story of fiction, I have adhered to the factual information that is available about the Carolinian Algonquins — the names, the cultural customs from historical records and natives of the Southeast, as well as accurate biological detail.”
Heralding from just down the mountain in Greenville, South Carolina, Bear Rinehart is the front man for the rock group NEEDTOBREATHE. He has that rare quality of voice that allows him to stand out from other singers in his genre. Not only does Rinehart have the chops, he’s also a talented songwriter and musician.
I’d like to take a few minutes to say a few words about the column by Jeff Minick two weeks ago on the subject of Bob Dylan winning this year’s Nobel Prize in literature.
Mr. Minick, whom I respect and whose book reviews I’ve been reading for years, has written a very cautious — if not apologetic — argument as to why Bob Dylan is not qualified to receive this high honor. In his piece he has taken the side of numerous academics who are howling about what they perceive as an outrage, or a “mockery,” as Minick says. While Minick has written a very carefully thought-out and intelligent piece from that perspective, I feel that poor Bob is getting bashed from this kind of biased academic perspective and that he needs someone from the pure poetic side of the fence to speak on his behalf and in his defense.
In a 12-round heavyweight professional boxing match, at the beginning of the twelfth round there is a bell and the referee motions the two fighters to the center of the ring to begin the final round of the contest. In the fight for life on the planet Earth, and according to a majority of noted scientists, we are in the twelfth round. And Pulitzer-winning biologist E. O. Wilson is the referee.