A package arrived the other day that we’ve anticipated for a while. In fact, part of my resolution this year, the one to read a poem a day every day, relied on its eventual appearance in our mailbox. Michelle’s dad, Richard Lee Harris, has released his first book of poetry: Reimagine.
Dad and Mom travel quite a bit, and many of the poems come from their trips, from our Chilkat River Valley to Europe and elsewhere. He also reflects on his experiences growing up, family, history, and nature. It includes black and white illustrations: Dad’s photos, family photos, and Mom’s (Helen Harris) watercolors.
One feature of the book that I appreciate is an appendix in which Dad discusses the inspiration for each poem. As an artform, poetry is notoriously oblique, if not downright opaque. I appreciate a poet who’s willing to let the reaader in on what inspired a work.
I have to say, the book’s a lot thinner than I expected. Dad’s output over the years covered by the book, 1993-2009, is far greater than Reimagine would indicate. I haven’t asked, but he may be holding back for future volumes. At least I can work my way through the book as part of my resolution without having to cut back on Mary Oliver!
This has definitely been a week for new books in our lives. We’ve been following the process of Dad’s book to publication. It seemed like it took a long time, but it has been worth the wait.
Dad built a Web site that includes poems from the book. Ask your local bookstore for a copy, or order the book through links on Dad’s site, or by clicking here.