Monthly Archives: April 2013

Vande Zande’s ‘American Poet’ Gives Notable Nod to Poet Roethke

perf5.500x8.500.inddDenver Hoptner walks at night. The recent University of Michigan grad, jobless and without prospects, has returned home to live with his father while he regroups and considers his future.

Instead of opening doors, Denver’s fresh MFA in Poetry has left him open only to his father’s scrutiny, and worse, at a devastating loss for the words he longs to put down. Seeking solace, Denver routinely takes to the bleak Saginaw streets searching for a sign.

In Jeff Vande Zande’s  tight, coming-of-age novel American Poet (Bottom Dog Press $18.00), Denver’s sign comes in the form of late poet Theodore Roethke’s boyhood home. The prize-winning poet’s house, found smoke-damaged and in disrepair, gives Denver angry encouragement and fuels his commitment to both his craft and the preservation of a bygone poet’s brilliance.

“It was one of the few things that I didn’t hate about the town,” Denver says. “When I was in high school and thinking that maybe I wanted to write, I used to walk out to the Roethke House at least once a month, just to look at it. He was a pretty big poet in his day. Pultizer Prize for one thing, and it meant something that a guy like that could come from a place like Saginaw. He was a guide. A lodestar.”

Poet Theodore Roethke drew his words from the well of his Saginaw surroundings. Through Denver’s eyes, author Vande Zande also offers bright discovery in the gray and grit of this roughed-up city. Ultimately, it’s in Denver’s struggle to reconcile his future ideal with his present reality that his true poetry begins to emerge.

Jeff Vande Zande teaches English at Delta College and writes poetry, fiction, and screenplays. He was selected as the recipient of the 2012 Stuart and Venice Gross Award for Excellence in Writing by a Michigan Author for American Poet; his novel that was also selected as a 2013 Michigan Notable Book.

– This review can be found in the January, 2013 issue of Hour Detroit. For Hour subscription information, link here.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries and universities. It matters.

– Post by Megan Shaffer

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under American Poet, Authors, Book Reviews, Jeff Vande Zande

Balthazar Korab Fans Invited to BPL Event With Author Comazzi

Korab Photo 2Baldwin Public Library is pleased to announce that John Comazzi – author of Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography – will pay a special visit to Baldwin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, for a book talk and question-and-answer period.  Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event courtesy of Book Beat.

Mr. Comazzi is visiting the Baldwin Public Library as part of the Library of Michigan’s 2013 Michigan Notable Authors Tour. The authors whose engaging works were chosen as Michigan Notable Books selections will visit nearly 50 libraries throughout the state.

“It’s a treat to have Mr. Comazzi in our community, sharing his captivating work in such an open, accessible way.  Given the strong local interest in the work of Balthazar Korab, we are delighted to host Mr. Comazzi on the Michigan Notable Authors Tour,” said Doug Koschik, Library Director.

“This year’s Michigan Notable Books delve into wonderfully diverse topics and offer something of interest for just about everyone,” said State Librarian Nancy R. Robertson.

Mr. Comazzi is an Associate Professor of Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.  He received a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Virginia and both a M.Arch and M.S. in Architecture History and Theory from the University of Michigan.  He teaches at the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor.

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham.  For details about this author event, call 248-554-4650 or visit the Web at www.baldwinlib.org.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries and universities. It matters.

– Posted by Megan Shaffer, courtesy of Baldwin Public Library

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized