Poetry. The arrival of a new book of poetry from Jonathan Greene is always a pleasure, but never has it felt more welcome and more needed than now. These new poems arrive like old friends, familiar in their form and themes, and there is great comfort in this. Many are brief, with the spare economy of words that has become his signature. Many record minute observations of nature and life in the country, one poem noting the crows that investigate a scarecrow to "See how hard a winter / it's been;" another a ledger of the vicissitudes of owning a farm, rewarded by knowing "Can't imagine / seeing anything else every morning." And yes, some acknowledge the current political situation, from the perspective of one who knows his history: "Won't put on a Yellow Star. / Won't make it easy for these new Bastards." Greene has been at this a while now—this makes the seventh calendar decade in which he has published poetry—and still he describes himself as "Just an amateur at living this life." Perhaps so, but he has become a master at recording it. His poem "Coming Back to One Another" is the perfect wish for this moment, seeking grace out of our COVID isolation: "Our silence / gives us space // to meet again / and find the words."
Jonathan Greene was born in New York City. He graduated from Bard College in 1965. After living in San Francisco twice, Greene moved to Kentucky in 1966 where members of his family had been living since 1846. He founded Gnomon Press in 1965, and is a free-lance book designer. Since 1977, he has lived on a Kentucky River farm with his wife, fiber artist and photographer Dobree Adams. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Southern Federation of State Arts Agencies, and the Kentucky Arts Council. He is the author of EBB & FLOW (Broadstone Books, 2021), GISTS, ORTS, SHARDS (Broadstone Books, 2018), ANECDOTAGE (Broadstone Books, 2015), SMALL CHANGE FOR THE LONG HAUL (Station Hill Press, 1984), and ONCE A KINGDOM AGAIN. (Sand Dollar, 1978). Author City: FRANKFORT, KY USA