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Follow: Poems

By Amy Wright Vollmar

Copies are now available from Cornerpost Press!

Please forward check or money order for $16.00 (tax and postage included) t0

Phillip Howerton

214 West Maple

West Plains, MO 65775

Email: Philliphowerton@cornerpostpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

 

 

The poems of Follow invite the reader to stray, along paths made by water or deer, into a nearby wild.  Through Ozark Mountain forests haunted by crow and coyote, these poems smell of wet limestone, sing with hidden warblers, and resound with surprises—a jawbone, a keyhole of cave, a nameless waterfall.  With photographs that illuminate its pages like light through leaves,  Follow encourages readers to map their own trails of spirit and wonder. 

 

Artist's Statement

When I slip into the natural world, on foot or by kayak, poetry is part of my adventures.  I keep my senses open and try not to blink.  Sometimes I drop my notebook into a waterfall, so it has to be mudproof.  If I don’t know the name of a bird or vine, I draw it on the page.  Petals and leaves tend to drift out later, in the living room, when I revise the raw poems. Wherever we walk—and connect with nature—there is poetry to discover.  For me, the joy in that connection often slants into mystery.  I need poetry to explore the ledges, the unseen within the caves, the waterfalls without names.  

 

                                          Reviews                                                      

This is a gallery of mind-photos in which a poet who knows the intricacies of a unique nature-scape follows paths through mountains she knows at a cellular level. Her mission is to document connections to the natural world, then sing of them with a discerning non-sentimental voice so that others can connect with them too. . . . this collection of connections is literally hope in action, and it both preserves and illuminates visceral intersections of Ozark flora and fauna along paths we wouldn’t otherwise follow. For her. For us. For the Wildness of the World. 

                                                                                                             Mark Spitzer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In Search of Monster Fish: Angling for a More Sustainable Planet                                                                                                                                                  Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West                                                                                                                                                                                  Glurk: A Hellbender Odyssey

 

Amy Wright Vollmar’s Follow is a book of profound identification with the natural world. These subtle, intricate poems stake out their territory in the craggy woods of the Missouri Ozarks, a land of seeps and sinkholes, chert and karst. The speaker who makes her way again and again to a hidden waterfall, her senses attuned to birds, insects, plants, and animals, maps geographic as well as emotional terrain—a deeply observed locale with universal resonance in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau and Mary Oliver. Follow returns us readers to our central relationship to nature, moments where we are the visitors, not asserting dominance but bestowing attention and imagination. In a time of environmental anxiety, such gestures are as essential and restorative as water that beads from limestone and “still falls— / drop by / clear drop.”

                                                                                                                     Hope Coulter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Wheel of Light                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Errand of the Eye                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Dry Bones

 

Vollmar’s poetry takes readers on hikes into the Ozarks, often in search of a waterfall and always surrounded by the many nuances of nature. Her crisp and precise language is as well arranged as the stones along the creek beds she navigates.

                                                                                                                      Tim Coone, Editor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cave Region Review

 

Vollmar’s exquisite poems write the Ozarks as a region of mystery, both quietly beautiful and beautifully brutal.  By following the author’s mapped trail through frost and thaw, one can travel a physical and spiritual landscape to the wide world beyond. Lined with deer paths, waterfalls and hidden caves, a walk through this collection takes the reader on a journey through the wilderness without and within.                                                                                                                                                                           Carla Kirchner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Physics of Love

 

Amy Wright Vollmar’s sure-footed free verse—whether couplets, tercets, or quatrains—wends its way through the Ozark landscape, so that we who follow emerge refreshed, as from a hike instead of a book, the absence of ego almost total as she skillfully guides us from page to page. What an auspicious outing for Cornerpost Press.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Gerry Sloan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Paper Lanterns                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Crossings: A Memoir in Verse

 

Follow is a collection of lovely poems—the kind of poems only someone who lives close to nature, appreciates its beauty and wonders, and has a keen sense of observation can write. It renders the interaction between nature and humanity in a delightfully reflective manner. Some of the lines in the volume could stand as excellent haiku in their own right. Finally, the beautiful photos included in the book augment the imagistic nature of the verses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           John J. Han, Ph.D.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Professor of English and Creative Writing at Missouri Baptist University  

 

Toni Haas and Paul Nachtigal write in Place Value that a sense of place is defined as living well ecologically. David Orr in Ecological Literacy notes that the “study of place has a significance in re-educating people in the art of living well where they are.” Amy Wright Vollmar knows how to live well where she is, and her collection of poems, Follow, guides the reader to experience her place in the southwest Missouri Ozarks. Reading her poems takes one on a journey through the woods, observing waterfalls, the path beneath her feet, and listening for the gobble of turkeys and the songs of cardinals, robins, and blue jays. We follow her downriver, and we see what she sees: the branches, the bluffs, and the blue herons. We sit in silence with her, and through her poems, she teaches us to be still.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cathie English                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Associate Professor of English Missouri State University 

 

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Ozarks RFD: Selected Essays, 2010-2015

by Jim Hamilton

Copies are now available from Cornerpost Press!

Please forward check or money order for $20.00 (tax and postage included) t0

Phillip Howerton

214 West Maple

West Plains, MO 65775

Email: Philliphowerton@cornerpostpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The newspaper column is a surprisingly difficult genre: strict word count limits, inflexible deadlines, and the necessity to be both original and familiar to a broad spectrum of readers. Jim Hamilton is a master practitioner of the form. His columns capture a moment, dig deep into a memory, analyze an emotion. Each column is a finely crafted exploration of an experience or recollection, and although you can see their origins in the deadline-driven world of newspaper production, they transcend those origins and offer us lasting insights. There's both sweetness and precision in these columns, a combination that is hard to pull off and even harder to sustain; Jim Hamilton has managed that challenging art for more than forty years. This collection of work from his recent years of writing is something to be savored.

                                                                                                                    Steve Wiegenstein                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Slant of Light                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This Old World                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Language of Trees

 

Jim Hamilton has long been a wordsmith whose weekly offerings have reconnected community newspaper readers with memories of their own early years. He also has afforded readers of all ages with the opportunity to appreciate the simpler and special things nature has to offer. This collection of some of those offerings is certain to appeal to those already familiar with his craftsmanship and those who will be happy they have come to know through this book how he can turn a phrase.

                                                                                                                    Dave Berry, Editor and Publisher                                                                                                                                                                                                              Member of the Missouri Newspaper Hall of Fame                                                                                                                                                                                Member of the Regional Media Hall of Fame 

 

Jim Hamilton can tell a good story. During his college student days he had developed that skill and over the years it has matured to the extent that he now tells a very good story. Coming from a school teacher background, I know how important a good story is to the learning process. As a reporter, editor, and writer, perhaps Jim's story telling has made him a good teacher. I believe so. Read Jim's stories, they are always informative and fun.

                                                                                                                     Dr. Arthur Mallory                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Former President of Missouri State University                                                                                                                                                                                       Former Commissioner of Education

 

Jim’s columns over the years have made me smile. Some have made me laugh. Still others have made me choke up and cry, with tears running down my cheeks. Others allowed me to reminisce. Some remind me of my own childhood and growing up in the Ozarks. All have made me think. 

                                                                                                                      James Sterling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Past President of the Missouri Press Association                                                                                                                                                                                    Recipient of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism

 

Jim Hamilton’s essays are filled with a sense of place and a love of life. He vividly depicts small-town and rural experiences, preserving fragments of the past and embracing the present and future. Many of Jim’s columns demonstrate core values of community, family, friendship, and love that grant the hope and resilience needed to survive our sorrows. Prepare to be inspired and perhaps even healed.

                                                                                                                      Cindy McIntyre                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Grief Counselor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eulogies Unspoken: Stories of Worth                                                                                                                                                                                                      Caring for Dad: With Love & Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

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