Poetry. Winner of the Red Mountain Poetry Prize. In SONGS FOR SOLO VOICE, award-winning poet James R. Whitley trains his artistic sights unflinchingly on the experiences of desire, betrayal, loss, and other matters of the heart. Throughout this breathtaking collection, the poems radiate an undeniable heat even as they continue their exacting investigation with a cool lucidity. Vaulting expertly through a wide array of poetic forms, the collection reveals a creative spirit at play, despite the serious subject matter. With uplifting music and a distinctive voice, the poet gifts us with these able-bodied verses, these sturdy songs of resilience to guide us through the wreckage of relationships gone wrong and mine the debris for enduring nuggets of hope.
"SONGS FOR SOLO VOICE reminds us, 'when it comes to loss/none of us is immune.' Here the particular loss is the end of an affair, a searing wound that takes a long time to heal, if ever, a theme almost as old as lyric poetry itself which Whitley, like a modern-day Petrarch, revives in his own striking, sardonic, and inimitable way. If 'the music of never forgetting her' has become 'the score of the rest of his life' so be it: he may write about loss as much as he needs to, while I, liking his work enormously, somehow feel joy."—Alan Feldman
James R. Whitley was born in Mount Vernon, New York and holds degrees from Cornell, Boston, Harvard and Northeastern universities. His poetry has been widely published in literary journals and nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net. His first book, Immersion, won the 2001 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. His second book, This Is the Red Door, won both the Ironweed Poetry Prize and a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award. His third book, The Goddess of Goodbye, written in homage to his mother, was published by Word Press in 2010. He is also the author of two poetry chapbooks—Pietà and The Golden Web. Currently, he serves as a Dean at Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut.Author City: WATERBURY, CT USA