Available Light

Philip Booth and the Gift of Place

Jeanne Braham

Being a poet is not a career, it's a life.Philip Booth
Date Published :
December 2015
Publisher :
Bauhan Publishing
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9780872332065
Pages : 144
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Castine, Maine, writes Jeanne Braham, is the place to both begin and to end an exploration of the life and work of the poet Philip Booth. Home to five generations of the Booth family, the coastal town was both working harbor and artists' retreat, and Booth belonged as much to the craggy localsdockworkers, boat builders, and fishermen who weathered its harsh wintersas to the literary luminaries who gathered there in summertime.

His poems came to depend, in immediate and sensory ways, on the geography of coastal Maine and the activities associated with living there: rowing boats, navigating through thick fog that obscured normal landmarks, recording the talk of wharf workers, splitting wood and methodically stacking it, writes Braham, who locates Booth's cadence, subject matter, and themes in the people, landscape, and history of Castine.

Mentored by Robert Frost and a close friend of Robert Lowell, Booth was an anchor for a circle of writers who gravitated to the mid-Maine coast for short and long visitsLowell, Elizabeth Hardwick, Mary McCarthy, W. S. Merwin, and Maxine Kumin among themand Braham's recountings of their friendships and escapades open a window into a tremendously exciting time in late twentieth-century poetry.

Through research, careful readings of Booth's poetry, and interviews with his family and friends, Available Light offers an intimate and intelligent look into the life and writing of a major twentieth-century poet, one whose incandescent poems deserve to live and be shared.

About The Author

Author of five books on American arts and letters, Jeanne Braham has taught literature and creative writing at a number of colleges and universities, including Allegheny College, Smith College, Hampshire College, the University of New Hampshire, and Clark University. She is the founding editor of Heatherstone Press, a fine arts publisher of poetry chapbooks, and lives in western Massachusetts.


First Lessons
Not to Tell Lies
Heading Out
End Notes
Selected Readings

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