Poetry. Art. THE CLOUD MUSEUM, Beth Spencer's debut collection, comprises two distinct worlds. In "Practicing Nowhere," we meet the shape-shifting, time-evading Alice, whose life is narrated by an anonymous "I" who loves Alice for her audacity, her humor, and her defiant insistence that "Her / esy . . . is knowing any / thing for certain." In "The Book of Jay," the artist Jay DeFeo's paintings—especially her monumental, slowly evolving "The Rose"—are transformed into language so vivid and musical that to read is to behold them in another form. Spencer opens her book with the injunction to "sharpen your mind / on the prospect of nowhere," but every line of her dazzling, inventive poems makes us grateful for the time spent in these two sharply defined worlds. Clouds may be fleeting; these poems are anything but. Their sheer beauty sharpens the mind again and again.
Beth Spencer was born in Portland, Oregon, and has lived in seven other states as well. After working too many jobs to count (poker dealer, zookeeper, clinic administrator, waitress, maid, cook, building inspector, clerk, college instructor), she founded Bear Star Press (www.bearstarpress.com), which publishes poetry and short fiction by writers in western states. Her poetry and fiction can be found on- and offline at Winning Writers, Split This Rock, Tin House, River Styx, Litro, and elsewhere; two one-acts have been produced for the stage and a series of flash pieces read publicly by actors. She has taught editing and publishing at CSU,Chico, and lives in rural Northern California with her husband and dog. THE CLOUD MUSEUM is her first book.Author City: CHICO, CA USA