Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Katharine Coles’ Ghost Apples

Ghost Apples, the ninth collection of poems by Katharine Coles – who might be a witch (IMHO) given the ready way she connects with animals (including her parrot Henri, pronounced in the American fashion) and who surely has a magical way with words and their readers — kept me sitting in a hot car for more than two hours devouring the very-well-composed new work. (Right beside the monster air-conditioning unit that, maddeningly, kept switching on and off. But I kept reading.)

The book’s cover art, “Ivory-billed Woodpeckers” by Joseph Bartholomew Kidd, designed by Jessica Perkins, had me absorbed for entirely too long, given the heat. A trio of woodpeckers, two of them perched in a well-pecked tree limb, is spooky and endearing, too.

Coles says Ghost Apples is a companion to her most recent (Solve for) X. “I thought I was culling poems for one book,” she says, “then discovered that I really had two: one that was more about gender (with, naturally, some nature in it); and this one, which is more about nature and climate, with, naturally, some gender stuff in it. Obviously, both are also engaged with the body, especially the aging body – its pleasures and hazards both.”

As a companion (I loved (Solve for) X as well) or stand alone, this little book is well beyond my expectations. Which is why I will be at The King’s English Bookshop on Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. to hear the poet and Distinguished University of Utah English Professor read aloud from it. Maybe I will get to ask a question. (Better, I shall restrain myself.) Finca will sell food and drink (21 and over, please) and Coles insists her poetry reading as a result, “will be a party!”

As it should be. She can be a lot of fun. And so can the art of poetry, as partygoers will discover for themselves.

Ghost Apples

Katharine Coles
Red Hen Press

The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Wednesday, 6-7 p.m. See the bookshop website for details.

Categories: Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Tagged as:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.