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BOOKS 

9 April 2024 from Red Hen Press

          (also available as an audiobook)

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And a collection of essays about revising poems, co-edited by Charles Finn

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The Art of Revising Poetry

from Bloombury Press in London, June 2023, co-edited by Charles Finn.

Kim Stafford - cover for Singer Come fro

Singer Come from Afar

Poems by Kim Stafford

from Red Hen Press

Publication date: 27 April 2021

You can order this book from your local bookstore, or directly from the publisher here:

https://redhenpress.org/products/singer-come-from-afar-by-kim-stafford

Publication Date: April 9, 2024

$18.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 9781636281476

As the Sky Begins to Change is a book of poems to wake the world,

            lyric anthems for earth and kin.
 

In his third poetry collection from Red Hen Press, Kim Stafford gathers poems that sing with empathy, humor, witness, and story. Poems in this book have been set to music, quoted in the New York Times, posted online in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, gathered in a chapbook sold to benefit Ukrainian refugees, posted online in response to Supreme Court decisions, composed for a painter’s gallery opening, and in other ways engaged with a world at war with itself, testifying for the human project hungry for kinship, exiled from bounty, and otherwise thirsting for the oxygen of healing song.
 

ADVANCE PRAISE
 

“Kim Stafford is a priest and poet, songwriter and philosopher. Each of these meticulously crafted poems offers the ability to see our interconnected world with a tender, resilient heart that only grows stronger over time. You will come to the book like that lucky raccoon who finds a plum tree in one of the early poems, feasting until you are ‘bandit happy, lusty gusto, shaky elbow, roly poly/on your side helpless with joy.'”

—James Crews, author of Kindness Will Save the World
 

“This inspiring new collection speaks to this moment of dilemma and decision: ‘What was our / certainty is all in ruins, so we sing glory, glory, glory.’ Poems here bring music to the book’s ‘little anthems of thought,’  to advance the vast change of heart demanded of us all. ‘From the ordinary,’ Stafford says, ‘you must rise into helpful dreaming.’ In this book, Stafford dreams and sings the world new, reader by reader.”

—Thomas R. Smith, author of Storm Island and Medicine Year

DESCRIPTION

This book considers war and peace, pandemic struggles, Earth imperatives, a seeker’s spirit, and forging kinship. The former poet laureate of Oregon, Stafford has shared poems from this book in libraries, prisons, on reservations, with veterans, immigrants, homeless families, legislators, and students in schools. He writes for hidden heroes, resonant places, and for our chance to converge in spite of differences. Poems like “Practicing the Complex Yes” and “The Fact of Forgiveness” offer tools for connection with the self, the community, and the Earth: “It is a given you have failed . . . [but] the world can’t keep its treasures from you.” For the early months of the pandemic, Stafford wrote and posted a poem for challenge and comfort each day on Instagram and published a series of chapbooks that traveled hand to hand to far places—to Norway, Egypt, and India. He views the writing and sharing of poetry as an essential act of testimony to sustain tikkun olam, the healing of the world. May this book be the hidden spring you seek.

 

 

ADVANCE PRAISE

I love this book. Kim Stafford writes from a deep well of gratitude and human goodness. Some of his poems are furious, some are sly and funny, some are simply beautiful,  and all create a space for readers to catch their breath and reflect on the glories of this lovely, reeling planet and the sins against it. What greater gift could a poet give a worried, weary world?   

—Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Earth’s Wild Music

 

Poetry began as song, and in the lyrics of Kim Stafford we still hear the singing. A keen listener to voices human and wild, he writes of prisoners and refugees, toads and wrens, warriors and peacemakers, orcas and rivers. His guiding impulse is compassion. He urges us to defy ‘the camp of anger’ through acts of kindness. He assures us that Nature holds no grudges. Even ‘in the era of stormy weather,’ bees gather nectar, birds weave nests, seeds sprout, and new life emerges. Here is a bard of small creatures and gentle gestures who believes that art can help heal the wounds we’ve inflicted on Earth, our fellow species, and one another, and that conviction shines through every page of this big-hearted book.

—Scott Russell Sanders, author of The Way of Imagination

 

“Be home here in beauty and bounty,” writes Kim Stafford, in the poem “Revising Genesis,” from his newest collection Singer Come from Afar: “make Earth / your wise guide, each creature teaching miracles of being / in wing and song.” And this is a collection of bright wings and wild songs, of home and history and place and gentle invitation. Yet don't think this gentleness doesn't stand shoulder to shoulder with a fierce commitment to peace and justice, with a deep and abiding moral vision. Truly, Kim Stafford is a singer, a seer, a prophet helping us write anew our stories of creation. 

—Joe Wilkins, author of Fall Back Down When I Die and When We Were Birds

Previous books by Kim Stafford

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Handbooks from Lulu.com

This series of hand-sized books (4.25 x 7 inches) began when I woke on Nov. 9, 2016, to find my beloved country deeply divided. I made a vow that I would devote my writing practice to healing this division, and began to put together a collection of poems of reconciliation and challenge. Soon I knew I would need a thousand copies to give away in time for the Women's March on January 17, 2017. I wrote to nine editors I'd worked with in the past, but got no response...and so turned to the online book-maker Lulu.com. Using their template for a small book, I had my thousand copies printed, and mailed them express to friends all over the country, who then handed the books to kin and strangers in New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington, California, and on. By now, this first book in the series, The Flavor of Unity: Post- Election Poems, has made it to Norway, Egypt, India, and beyond, as it is passed from hand to hand.

     Since then, I've put together the other books you see below--poems in Spanish, poems of consolation, poems of love, poems of place. You can click on the "sample page" link to read an excerpt from each book, or click on the book cover to order a copy. They're generally $5 + postage from:

 

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KimStafford/

Note: For one of the books below, Sunflower Seeds: Poems for Ukraine, all proceeds from sales go as a donation to MercyCorps for relief efforts for Ukrainian citizents in country and refugees abroad.

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