Poetry Information

Review Of Stephen B. Wileys First Book Of Poetry: HERO ISLAND

Poet Stephen B. Wiley's first book of poetry, Hero Island, reflects tender snapshots and reminiscent overviews of various stages of his life as a youngster working on a farm in New Jersey, summer vacations spent with his family in Northern Vermont, and his positive stance on life.

His elegant command of language magically explores and brings to life such varied topics as the shovel we are reluctant to part with, city living, opening up of the summer cottage, shucking corn, Albert Einstein and world federation, and the more weighty experience as the death of a loved one. All are composed with a great deal of introspection and with a sincere palette of words that are easily accessible to even the inexperienced poetry reader.

Particularly touching and one that struck home is "Going," where Wiley portrays the passing away of his ninety-four year old father-something I personally just recently experienced with the passing away of my father-in-law. The ending of the poem's unadorned spoken language poignantly describes his inner feelings:

"I knew father wouldn't die
I bent over his bed though
and we embraced with a kiss
as he was going."

Above all, Wiley's strength lies in that his poems are characterized by a sense of wonder and nostalgia with which he imbues his reflections, that is neither sad nor frustrated, as is often the case with so many poets. Moreover, descriptions are effortless and fresh, reverberating with vitality, as exemplified in the first two stanzas of his poem To My Hands:

"Yes, yes I do admire your solo work
how you throw a ball
write your name
tip you hat

And I'm proud that things are named for you
giving a helping hand
handing down your outgrown clothes
even handing over something you shouldn't have"

Quite noteworthy is Wiley's remarkable skill with language, perhaps attributable to his legal training. When I interviewed him and asked him how had this affected his poetry writing, his succinct reply was "words are the subject matter of law - spoken words and written words - and precision of language is most important. Poetry draws on the same strengths." That just about sums up the poetic style of Stephen B. Wiley.

Although, I must admit that I initially opened Wiley's book of poems with some trepidation, my only grumble, when reaching the last poem, was that I did not have enough of it. It is my hope that Hero Island only marks the inauguration of a long and creative career.

Norm Goldman is the Editor of the Book Reviewing site http://www.bookpleasures.com and the travel site, http://www.sketchandtravel.com

Norm is also a travel writer and together with his artist wife, Lily, they meld words with art focusing on romantic and wedding destinations.

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

The Guardian

'The spark will ignite': how poetry helps engage people with dementia
The Guardian
'The spark will ignite': how poetry helps engage people with dementia. Shared reading has a significant impact on mood, concentration and social interaction. A Liverpool charity is running sessions in care homes. Supported by. SKILLS FOR CARE About ...

Lansing State Journal

At the Poetry Room, free verse, funny stories and cheesy pick-up lines
Lansing State Journal
LANSING — Masaki Takahashi's car broke down one day not long after he graduated from Michigan State University, and he needed a job right away. So he walked across the street and into a car dealership and declared, "Hey, my name's Masaki, and I can ...

Irish Times

The poetry of June Caldwell's Room Little Darker
Irish Times
Why do I think of poetry as I read it? Is it poetic prose? What do we mean when we say that prose is poetic? The prose poem itself has been described as short, primarily descriptive or exploratory rather than narrative, and using techniques ...

Irish Times

Máirtín Ó Direáin remembered: patrols, paramilitaries and poetry
Irish Times
It was the act of reading that sticks in the mind; the act whereby a poet speaks aloud words that have been mute on a page until then. Máirtín Ó Direáin, poet, died 30 years ago today. Yet, I close my eyes and see him speaking again. He read in Belfast ...

Bennington Banner

Poetry series begins Wednesday at Bennington
Bennington Banner
Poetry series begins Wednesday at Bennington. National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis will give a reading on Wednesday at Bennington College. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMANDA SCHWENGEL AND HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE. Posted Monday, March 19, 2018 9:51 am ...

Between the Lines: Poetry in the Woods
Inspiration for literature comes from many places, but perhaps most often it comes from nature. The Kalamazoo Nature Center is partnering with Friends of Poetry, a nonprofit organization in Kalamazoo, to encourage “Baby Boomers” who are age 50 and up ...

'Voiceless' Inmates Find Healing Through Poetry Program
U.S. News & World Report
"It can capture what you've gone through and your experiences in prison." Sharing those experiences with others is an important element of the programs. During the past three years, the Johnson County Library has hosted several Arts in Prison Poetry ...

and more »


“Hygienic Egg 2018: a focus on the Poetry of Death” brings dance, song and poetry to New London
Dozens of people packed into the Hygenic Sunday for “Hygienic Egg 2018: a Focus on the Poetry of Death,” the eighth annual promenade performance put on by performers and artists associated with the Dragon's Egg, an artist's studio in Ledyard. "I've had ...

In Your Area

Ascot care home asks neighbours to join them on World Poetry Day
In Your Area
A care home in Ascot is inviting the community to join residents in celebrating World Poetry Day on Wednesday, March 21. This year the Care UK team at Larkland House care home in London Road will open its doors from 11am for a morning of word play and ...
North-east care home to celebrate World Poetry DayAberdeen Evening Express

all 2 news articles »

Coos Bay World

Celebrate National Poetry Month at North Bend Public Library
Coos Bay World
NORTH BEND — The North Bend Public Library will host two programs during the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month. The first presentation, Where Words and Music Meet, will be begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, a concert and poetry ...

Google News

home | site map | Art of the Ocean
© 2006