Archive for November, 2022

Nov 21 2022

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The Long White Begins…

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Winter arrived in northern Vermont last week with the first snowfall blanketing the earth. Only a couple inches of the wet, heavy stuff, but it has lingered as temps have stayed around freezing. And so the long white begins…

I went for a short hike yesterday despite the inviting warmth of home. Didn’t go far away. The 3-mile loop in Niquette Bay State Park was good enough since deer hunters are prowling the Green Mountains these days. I passed half a dozen people on the trail, but was alone most of the time. Alone while making tracks in half-frozen mud, inhaling cool air.

A steady wind rocked the naked trees overhead, causing them to creak and groan – a woody conversation while I moved silently below. The late afternoon sun, setting so early this time of year, sank towards the western horizon. Forest shadows beneath a mostly azure sky. I hiked at a pace slower than usual to keep from chilling in my own sweat.

Just a few patches of snow here and there, but more will come no doubt. I’m ready for it. I’m ready to spend entire days indoors thinking, reading and writing. I’m as ready as I can be for holiday darkness, and the frigid temps that will follow. I polyurethaned my snowshoes when it was still warm enough to do that outdoors, so I’m ready to lay tracks in the snow, as well.

There’s no sense fighting winter when you live this far north. Better to embrace it, making the most of a season that has its own charms. Hibernation simply will not do – not when the cold season lasts nearly five months. Yeah, much better for sanity’s sake to embrace it.

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Nov 07 2022

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Nature Writing by t. kilgore splake

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I am pleased to announce the release of a third Wood Thrush Books title this year. This one’s called Escape to the Wild: the nature poetry and prose of t. kilgore splake. During the summer I culled nature-related pieces from over a hundred of splake’s books and chapbooks, added an introduction, then put this book into production. The first shipment arrived on my doorstep a few days ago, so now it’s in print.

I visited splake during my big road trip earlier this year, driving all the way to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to see the man in his natural habitat. I had been thinking about compiling his nature-related work before that, but the trip pushed me over the edge.

For those of you unfamiliar with his work, t. kilgore splake is a boho-beat poet well-known and widely published in the small press world. I’ve been following his work for over two decades. His nature-related verse, while only a fraction of what he has written, really resonates with me. I think some of his short narratives about excursions into the wild are engaging, as well. Hence the compilation of this book.

splake’s take on the wild is quite different from most. That’s what I find so interesting about him – that and the fact that extended camping trips in the UP when he was younger completely changed his life. I strongly urge those of you who want to see the power of nature at work upon an individual’s psyche to check out this book. You can get a copy by going to the Wood Thrush Books website. It is also available at Amazon.com.  

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