BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Village Square Booksellers welcomes New England poets Jon Andersen, author of “Augur,” and Ross Thurber, author of “Pioneer Species,” for a reading Saturday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m., followed by Open Mic Poetry, led by the River Voices.
Jonathan Andersen’s most recent collection of poems, “Augur,” was the recipient of the 2017 David Martinson-Meadowhawk Prize. The augurs of ancient Rome were charged with studying natural phenomena, like the flight habits of birds, in order to look for propitious or unfavorable omens. The poems in “Augur” are attempts to “decode” the signs of a world in the midst of tremendous and often bewildering upheaval. Written from the interlocking perspectives of father, husband, son, brother, educator, and citizen, the poetry seeks to engage life with clarity.
For 12 years, Andersen was a high school English and special education teacher, and since 2008 he has been a professor of English at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson and Willimantic, Conn. He and his wife, fellow writer and educator Denise Abercrombie, live in Storrs, Conn., and have two sons, Kit and Miles.
Ross Thurber is a farmer and poet living and working on his family farm in Brattleboro, Vt. His first collection, “Pioneer Species,” was published by Green Writers Press in April 2018. His work has also appeared in Vermont Life, Bloodroot Literary, anthologized and in “Birch Song: Vermont Voices” published by Blue Line Press 2018. He received an award of an Emily Mason fellowship for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2012.
“Pioneer Species” is a collection of poems that is divided into four sections: “Green Popplewood,” “Sunburnt Juniper,” “Stag Horn Sumac,” and “Snow Melt, Black Brook.” Each section represents a seasonal form of succession that is both literal and abstract. Ultimately, the poems in this manuscript have been winnowed to represent a narrative that echoes the idea that, like a lyric poem, stability is only a moment in time – one to be cherished.