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What We’re Reading: Paul Harding, et al

2011 March 10

Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding, published by Bellevue Literary Press. The book won the Pulitzer, so there’s really no arguing. The quiet novel starts with an old man, a clock repairer, on his deathbed. What won me over was the beautifully crafted journey of the man going back through his consciousness and memories, through time and his past joys and hardships, to gain a simple, yet heartbreaking truth of the world. A great book for us Minnesotans contemplating all things dark and heartwarming during this long, long winter.

Blog: Is that funny? by Zeichen Press…and yes, yes it is. The sisters-in-law letterpress duo is made up of Jen Shea and Fran Shea. The way they tell it, Fran does all the talking, and Jen does all the work. While we’re partial to sisterly letterpress duos, we really just follow this blog because it’s hilarious. I mean, a letterpress blog that elicits giggles, sassy remarks, and dirty humor? Really, who wouldn’t love it?

Poetry selection: “Old Lilacs” by the past Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning Ted Kooser, in his collection Delights and Shadows published by Copper Canyon Press. In honor of the coming spring…

Old Lilacs

Through early April cold,
these thin gray horses
have come near the house
as to a fence, and lean there
hungry for summer,
nodding their heads
with a nickering of twigs.

Their long legs are dusty
from standing for months
in winter’s stall, and their eyes
are like a cloudy sky
seen through bare branches.

They are waiting for May
to come up from the barn
with her overalls pockets
stuffed with the fodder
of green. In a month
they will be slow and heavy,
their little snorts so sweet
you’ll want to stand
among them, breathing.