...arrived on Friday. It came all the way from Washington along with a nice letter from the writer who'd sent it. I met him at the Fernie Writers Conference. There we had some great chats about books. I'd taken along a big box of Canadian poetry. As much as I could carry. We got talking about how tough it is to keep tabs on all the poetry in our respective countries, tougher yet to have an idea of what's going on across the border and elsewhere. He looked through the pile books and borrowed some titles that caught his interest, among them books by Anne Simpson, Don McKay, Karen Solie and Peter Van Toorn. Over the next few days, he mentioned a number of American titles that he thought might interest me. Now they're sitting on my shelf. Vice by Ai, Amplitude by Tess Gallagher, Where She Always Was by Frannie Lindsay, A Legacy of Shadows by David Lee, Pleasure Dome by Yusef Komunyakaa, and Wolf Tracks on the Welcome Mat by Paul Zarzyski.
He also sent along Cowboy Poetry Matters: From Abilene to the Mainstream. While I don't write cowboy poetry and nor does he, we share an interest in it. I became fascinated with cowboy poetry when I saw Ken Mitchell perform a number of years back. Mitchell is the editor of Rhyming Wranglers, an anthology of cowboy poetry released by Frontenac House this year. The book sold out after their great performance at the wind-up lunch at the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, so I wasn't able to get a copy while I was there, but it's on my shopping list.
I'll have these books until October. I'm thrilled and grateful. What a generous thing to do.