Author Event: Richard Newman

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 6:00pm

Richard Newman photo

Author bio:

Richard Newman is the author of four books of poetry and the novel Graveyard of the Gods. His work has appeared in American Journal of Poetry, Best American Poetry, Boulevard, I-70 Review (featured poet), Innisfree Poetry Journal, Literary Matters, Poetry East, Tar River Poetry, and many other magazines and anthologies. He currently teaches Creative Writing and World Literature at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. Before moving to the Maghreb, he and his family lived in Vietnam, Japan, and the Marshall Islands. Before leaving the US in 2016, he lived in St. Louis and served as Editor and Executive Director of River Styx for 22 years.


About Blues at the End of the World:

Blues at the End of the World traces the narrative arc of Richard Newman's leaving the US for good, looking for something else, and finding unexpected wonders, redemption, love and family in the Marshall Islands, Japan, and Vietnam. Written in a variety of forms and song-forms, the book is studded with tanka, haiku, haibun, sonnets, and triolets, and even the free verse poems are influenced by Pacific Island chants.


One can always count on Richard Newman, in his poems and in the lyrics of his songs, to give this tattered world a fair shake but also to give it to his readers strong and straight. In his fine new collection, Blues at the End of the World, even ancient forms are coaxed to sing a gritty, modern ache as Newman tackles topics large and small—abandoned Shinto shrines, new marriage, aging, America’s shameful history in the Pacific, how living many years abroad changes a person—in masterful haiku, tanka, and haibun tucked among the sonnets and free verse. Few poets could so viscerally conjure the Saigon smog as a speaker lifts his baby “to the blood orange dawn, / baptizing [him] in beauty frothed with poison,” or make a dead dog beautiful as it floats, bloated, around an island in its “funeral shawl of flies.” Blues at the End of the World brims with portraits of loss and stubbornness, with delicate reports of a rough world, hewn by sorrow.


—Francesca Bell, author of What Small Sound

Event address: 
Subterranean Books
Blues at the End of the World By Richard Newman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781639805082
Availability: On our shelves now (while supplies last)
Published: Kelsay Books - March 8th, 2024