The Coffee with the Poet series continues on Thursday, June 18th at 10:30 a.m. The June gathering will feature William Kelley Woolfitt as he presents his collection, Beauty Strip. Kathryn Byer says of the book, “In the midst of overwhelming natural beauty, rendered with such sensuous language that the reader of William Kelley Woolfitt’s first full-length collection well-nigh swoons in delight, hides desecration, the earth left raw and bleeding behind the “beauty strip” the coal companies create to block from view their destruction. Therein lies the metaphorical paradox of this stirring, profoundly moving book of poems, the destruction that lies behind the disguise meant to allow us to keep living our lives in a state of unknowing. Around that troubling central image, however, pulses the natural world, “center and zenith” as Woolfitt describes it in Ring of Earth, echoing James Still’s abiding River of Earth. Through the beauty of his poetry, Woolfitt restores the world so carelessly and greedily desecrated. Stephen Spender once described poetry as “enchanted utterance.” Here is that utterance. Listen, and listen again, to its songs and its warnings.” William Kelley Woolfitt teaches creative writing and American literature at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. His poems and stories appear in Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, Threepenny Review, Tin House online, New Ohio Review, Appalachian Heritage, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, River Styx, Crab Orchard Review, Colorado Review, and Notre Dame Review.
The Coffee with the Poet series gathers the third Thursday of each month and is cosponsored by the NetWest chapter of the North Carolina Writer’s Network. To reserve books or for more information on Coffee with the Poet please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.