Houston: Press Release – SAINT JULIAN PRESS proudly presents a new collection of poems by Thomas Simmons, which is available through fine book distributors and retailers.
Praise for NOW
“The abundance of Tom Simmons’ imagination is matched by his tireless intellectual curiosity. A copious, ardent, richly musical book of poetry.”
“Thomas Simmons is a poet of astonishing lines that stun the page with informed candor. He has many voices and forms, all consistent with a learned poet who looks and photos world events and passion historically in ancient, modern, and experimental passages. He gazes at eternal heavens fallen yet strolling on earth. I expect many new word constellations will be carrying his signature. His pen is as sharp as his eye.”
Poets of the Bible: from Solomon to John of Revelation
Lifetime Achievement Award
“Thomas Simmons possesses an uncanny ability to weave together in his poems elements of the past, present, and future, refracted through details that are at once quotidian and eternal. Now offers compelling testimony about a complicated moment in history, in the form of one man's searing indictment of the mistakes, his own and others’, that have defined his singular time on earth. This book will endure.”
“There are two ways to transmute personal suffering: one is through spiritual practice; the other is through art. Tom Simmons wholeheartedly chooses the latter route. In this long-awaited new collection, he dives down the rabbit hole of a life to wrest from it the brilliant shards of universal longing. Bright, subtle, experimental, and still yearning for that unifying wholeness, he has emerged as one of our quintessential postmodern troubadours.”
Cynthia Bourgeault – The Wisdom Way of Knowing
Thomas Simmons served as an associate professor for the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT, and for over two decades in the Department of English at the University of Iowa. He was a doctoral student in English at the University of California, Berkeley, a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford, and a Stanford University undergraduate. He is the author of seven previous books; one, The Unseen Shore: Memories of a Christi- an Science Childhood, Beacon Press, 1991, which may have caused some offense in Boston. He presently resides in either Grinnell, Iowa, or on a boat on Lake Michigan out of Chicago.
ABOUT THE ARTIST –– ALIKI BARNSTONE is a poet, translator, critic, editor, and visual artist. Her visual art has appeared in New Letters and Tiferet. She is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Dwelling (Sheep Meadow, 2016), Bright Body (White Pine, 2011) and Dear God, Dear Dr. Heartbreak: New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow, 2009). She is the translator of The Collected Poems of C. P. Cavafy: A New Translation (W. W. Norton, 2006). She earned her B.A. from Brown University and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied with Robert Pinsky. At present she serves as Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Missouri and Poet Laureate of the State of Missouri.
To learn more, please go to http://www.alikibarnstone.com.
A Reading of three poems from NOW by Thomas Simmons
I wanted to begin
what it means
These words receding
even now, shadows
on the water,
the water of the pond
stiller and stiller
until the one real
no detail at all,
that pure everywhere.
The deep night owl beyond your vision in sleep
Is my mastery of silent revel, my fulfilled promise
To you, no longer stranger. Hear in that soft
Voice you do not know the warranty of trust,
Your promise, though unfulfilled before, also
Made good. I do not control the image
In your head, but neither is it your image–
Only an assurance to be acted on, mine given
And yours foreseen as night shades into
Dawn, as the light rises, your eyes open to
The partial from which you turned away, and I, fully
Satisfied, fly to the high bough of my expectancy.
For almost a year, no dreams at all, or none remembered.
Then you began to manifest as someone not there, someone
Other people talked about—and it was after; I needed kin
Or comfort. A few stood by, whispering, no help at hand.
Then the vignettes, slo-mo: the low hills of the park.
The tree that fell beside us. The caterpillar on your wrist.
You, and that look—that one—and always wordless,
Despite your gifts, riveted, waiting for me to speak.
You knew everything I would say. From brief sleep I snap awake
Wounded and baffled. Why this? That night we read together
In the darkened auditorium, your voice was thin yet die-cast,
Unmistakable. Now, desperate, as with thirst to slake,
I fear rest. You, there—your face so close to mine, you hover
In that moment just before—why now, when all seems lost?
NOW by Thommas
Simmons * ISBN-13: 978-0-9986404-0-2
ISBN 10: 0-9986404-0-9
Saint Julian Press, Inc. * 2053 Cortlandt, Suite 200 * Houston, TX 77008 * Ron Starbuck ~ Publisher-CEO
Phone: 281-734-8721 * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org * www.saintjulianpress.com