Donald Lev is a poetic treasure not only here in the Hudson River Valley, but also in New York State, indeed the entire Nation of Poetry & otherwise. His (& his late wife Enid Dame’s) work publishing the poetry tabloid Home Planet News brought many poets, established & neophytes, together since 1979.
He gave a reading & book-signing this day from his new book Where I Sit (Presa Press, 2015) at The Golden Notebook, independent bookstore, in Woodstock, NY. A Saturday afternoon in August in Woodstock is quite a, shall we say, trip, but the upstairs reading room of the bookstore was peaceful, with a number of local poets there to sit & listen. All of the poems in his new book are no more than a page long, with many only a few, gnomic, lines, such as “Jazz Lyric:”
I’m at the end of my rope and I’mThese poems are seasoned with the melancholic humor of old age & being alone, but finding solace in words. He read about a dozen poems, commenting briefly on their setting or origins, many of which I suspect are retellings of dreams. Perusing the book later I was pleased to see one, “Washington Park, Albany” commenting on his own reading in the Poets in the Park series in 2012.
If your poetry library is lacking a volume by Donald Lev this is a good place to start, then work backwards to some of his earlier books. It will make you smile, & maybe pick up your own pen.