by Kelly Cherry
Kelly Cherry's background in philosophy and classical music are the pillars of her poetry, although she seeks ways to keep them in the background. BEHOLDER'S EYE, her eleventh book of poetry, is a about where she went and what she saw, and that includes the States, Germany, Poland, Russia, Hungary, western Europe, Finland, and elsewhere. Her poems are clear and deftly crafted, and they are sometimes profound, and other times witty. She thinks politics are better dealt with in novels (or courts and conversation), yet she has written some poems about politics. Philosophic dilemmas are grist for her mill. But, like all poets, she is drawn to beauty, or to making beautiful poems out of what may not be, at first glance, beautiful. Her collection The Life and Death of Poetry is about language; her collection The Retreats of Thought is made up of sonnets about philosophy; her collection Rising Venus is about women and feminism. And the book at hand, BEHOLDER'S EYE, is about a significant chunk of our world. Minus, she adds sadly, Asia, China, Africa, and South America.
Preview coming soon
Including BEHOLDER'S EYE: POEMS (Groundhog Poetry Press, 2017), Kelly Cherry is the author of 26 books, 10 chapbooks, 2 translations of classical drama. Most recent: Quartet for J. Robert Oppenheimer (poetry). Cherry is former Poet Laureate of Virginia. She is an Emeritus Member, Poets Corner, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, NYC. NEA, USIA (the Philippines), Rockefeller, Bradley Lifetime Award, First recipient of the Hanes Poetry Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, three Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowships, Weinstein Award, publication in four Prize anthologies, Phillabaum Award, Dictionary of Literary Biography Award for the best volume of short stories (The Society of Friends: Stories) published in 1999, Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Southern Letters; others. She is also the Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin Madison and an Eminent Scholar, UAH, 2001-2005.