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  • By John Blackard
    Jul 23, 2009
    "Review of October Queen on Buzzaroonie website" Review of October Queen, 2-7-09 October Queen, by John Blackard Posted by Kenneth Arnold on February 7, 2009 at 9:08am in Uncategorized View book reviews I attended a poetry reading at Black Bird Wine Shop here in Portland last week, where John Blackard was one of the readers. I picked up October Queen at the reading; it's worth your undivided attention. This is a book of poems steeped in memory. The photo on the back cover shows the author as a child beside an old pickup, an icon of the book's mode. What's recalled has been lost, the tone often elegaic: "Your talent made your family forget for a moment / how far you could fall." One of the most evocative poems in the book is "Old Woman at the Well," accompanied by a photo of a child on a tricycle beside an old well. What looks innocent can be dangerous, as we know. "Let me tell you about the sad little boy who was your father. He waited in the... More > blazing sun with a dipper of water for his mother picking tobacco. Every day she'd tie that boy to the windlass of her spirit and lower him into the merciful darkness. The poet's sometimes rocky past is woven through poems that balance on the edge of despair but in the end are redeemed by a deeper hope. Remembering his childhood in the company of bakers, and a potentially life-shattering event, he concludes one poem: When my own child wakes from a bad dream, I will tell her a worshipful company of bakers makes hot cross buns full of grace every night. I will hope her life rises like a flock of birds above a harvest field of golden wheat. Photographs accompanying the poems are by the author. John Blackard is the new assistant managing editor for Poetry Northwest and a poet to watch. His book is available, along with his other publications, through his website.< Less
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Product Details

first edition
John Blackard
November 20, 2009
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Full color
0.34 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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