ABOUT THIS BOOK
In this selection of poems written over thirty years, Leon Stokesbury careens through the Maple Leaf Bar and the Restaurant-on-the-Corner, Oklahoma City, and Fairbanks, Alaska, consuming and offering up his sweet-and-sour vision of our lot in life. Whether he comes at us in masks as varied as his father and mother, Nick Bottom or John Keats, Señor Wences or Owen Glendower, it is his own Cheshire grin we spy creeping out around the edges. He readily sees the horror in the death of a New Orleans poet, in his own brother’s sufferings, in the inescapable process of mutability itself, but he finds also, often enough, the dark joke at the center of things and the chance for redemptive laughter. Whether in his own deeply personal voice or in the multitude of idioms from which he is able to draw—southern, midwestern, Shakespearean—Stokesbury creates whole landscapes in perfected, formal lines from the shards of memories and dreams.