COMING THIS FALL FROM MEADOWLARK BOOKS: STAGE WHISPERS
Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018, iv+114 pp.), COMING THIS FALL. NEW POEMS BY ROY BECKEMEYER.
- “In precise language and varied forms, Roy Beckemeyer’s third book of poetry, Stage Whispers, welcomes readers into thoughtful narrative observations that are personal and political, serious and light-hearted. Like the multitude of grasses on the Kansas prairie, these handsomely crafted poems are grounded in nature’s deep richness and beauty yet contemplate Christianity, science, and humanity, dragonflies, stars, morels, red-tailed hawks, the snows of Badakhshan, sandhill cranes, and great blue herons, all balanced against God riding by on his bicycle. Dense with images, intimate and honest, the book urges in brilliant whispers for readers to embrace life, to ‘Inhale deeply. / Breathe.’”
—Kathryn Kysar, author of Dark Lake and Pretend the World
- “Roy Beckemeyer’s new book of poems, Stage Whispers, speaks from on, off, below, and above the stage of life . . . showing us how to hear what we have to say to the world, and what the world is saying to us. From the first poem, beginning with the lines, ‘When the wind sends your words back/ into your throat as you speak them,’ Beckemeyer once again shows us the essential nature of listening closely to the music and quiet of everyday rhythms, yearnings, connections, losses, and motions. He writes with originality and precision about the natural world, growing up in the Midwest, old friends and old places that shaped lives, and even the workings of our minds, telling us in ‘Electrifying Thoughts’ that if we could see our own neurons in action, ‘We’d be meteor showers. We’d/ be each other’s very own auroras.’ But the most powerful cord that threads through this book is love: love for being alive to witness the tilting of seasons and weather, both external and internal, as well as love for the moments and humans that illuminate our days. As he writes in ‘Above the Rocky Run,’ ‘The whole world could rush by in flood stage / and whirlpools and every bit of it / would be immaterial with you in sight, / this close to hand.’ Speaking of which, keep this book close at hand to better see what and who is coming onto the stage of your life.”
—Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, and author of Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous
- “In this new volume of work by a treasured Kansas poet, Roy Beckemeyer takes the reader to historic rural settings, the nature of farm and prairie. These poems are lean yet muscled with the intense track of a quail hunt, the rise and rustle of prey, the sudden fall to ground . . . I applaud Stage Whispers as an artistic voice that calls us all to savour this collection from a skilled craftsman of modern verse.”
—Gary Lechliter, author of Off the Beaten Path
- “Roy Beckemeyer’s Stage Whispers invites us to see the lively currents that underpin our world. His wide-ranging eye examines everything from the microscopic to the cosmic and reports back to us a universe filled with brightness and worthy of our close attention”
—Skyler Lovelace, poet and artist, Professor of Digital Media and owner of Pixel Time
- “Like his 2015 Kansas Notable Book Music I Once Could Dance To, Roy Beckemeyer’s third book of poetry, Stage Whispers, sings. . . . Stage Whispers’ melody follows nature’s beauty, from forests to insects, weather to birds— ‘You know you have perfect pitch / when you can transcribe / the brown thrasher’s morning song.’ It contains the murmur of bees who turn the golden light of summer into honey and trees that ‘toss leaves into the sky.’ ‘When Is It Summer in Kansas?’ Beckemeyer asks, ‘. . . when storm clouds say with lightning what they refuse to speak with rain’ These are poems that offer a new pitch on viewpoints that limit, ‘the storm fronts that we invent and then must learn to weather’ . . . To hear how a poet like Roy Beckemeyer heals unexpected wounds with unexpected beauty, listen to Stage Whispers.”
—Laura Madeline Wiseman, author of Through a Certain Forest
Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018, x+58 pp.), a book of ekphrastic poems inspired by depictions of angels by 27 different artists. ISBN 978-1-946642-40-0.
- “…Beckemeyer pushes boundaries and imagination forward. His interpretations of angels—personal, metaphoric—resound and sometimes subvert expectations: ‘We should help them, you know, / the wounded angels of the world.’ Amanuensis Angel is a crucible for Beckemeyer’s mysticism: ‘Gravity bows in defeat / at the seventh level of / heaven.’ Gravity and other forces alter within these pages—well worth the read.” — Tyler Robert Sheldon
- “an original and stunning blend of ekphrastic poems inspired by angels interpreted by eclectic artists. Riffing off abstract expressionist, symbolist, and surrealist art, Beckemeyer writes a universe of poetry here, showing us the embodied, soulful, and mechanistic angels across space and time…There is an expansive wit and magic in this book, and reading it is like looking through a kaleidoscope of history, art, culture, the sacred and the everyday.” — Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
- “…rich poetic craft…sensibility wedding the past to the moment, all applied with…arthroscopic precision…at his masterful best when engaging in an earthy irony, as when Adam casts a knowing eye on a lustful angel, or when the selfsame angel guarding Eden’s gate wryly observes the exiles stumbling forth in naked pride and folly…foreseeing them damned…to the end of their days. Whereas any day spent reading these poems provides a glint of grace.”– Melvin Litton
- “The[se] poems run the emotional gamut. While the book may use the artistic imagery of angels, the poems aren’t limited to the angelic or celestial. Angels function as apocalyptic heralds, gate-keepers, judges. There’s unbidden humour…’I am a solution to the three-body / problem of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Like angels in flight, the poems swoop and swirl through human tragedy and experience…This is a collection worth visiting time and again, as the nuanced relationships between the poems and the inspiring angelic artwork become more dynamic over time.”– April Pameticky
Available from Amazon.
Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017, xiv+218 pp.) is a collection of 160 poems by 86 authors edited by Roy J. Beckemeyer and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. ISBN 978-0-9824549-6-1.
- “Throughout these poems run the appreciation of silence, reverence for what outsiders perceive as “nothingness,” and the timelessness of prairie life, its ancient fossils found alongside abandoned demolition derby cars and plastic cups. Here, ‘Nothing is lost, but so many things have to be found.’ Memory is a powerful force in Kansas. In Kansas, there is always another story to tell.” — Anita Skeen
Available on Amazon.
365 Days: A Poetry Anthology, Volume 2 (365 Days Poetry, 2018, xii+116 pp.) is the 2nd collection of poetry (76 poems from 18 poets) from the Facebook Closed Poetry Group 365 Poems in 365 Days. Edited by Roy Beckemeyer, James Benger, Dan Pohl, and Diane Wahto. Cover Photo and book and cover layout and design by Roy Beckemeyer. ISBN 978-1-986723-10-7.
- “…an illustration of conviction and community coming together and creating something exquisite in both its ambition and content…a tremendous amount of creative energy…Poems pastoral, micro, narrative, absurd, and intimate play over the pages in a perfect concerto of how a year of one’s own life passes: with highs and lows, sighs and bellows.” — Jeanette Powers
- “…a delightful read full of great moments from established and emerging poets…among the many bright spots in this collection…Paul Koniecki (‘Carry the sun in your arms to a safe house / and leave it in an unmade bed of pillows and down, other / minor celestial objects, and soft music from a turntable in the / corner of another room’).” — Shawn Pavey
Available from Amazon ($10.00)
365 Days: A Poetry Anthology (365 Days Poetry, 2016, xii+138 pp.) is a collection of 100 poems by 21 authors, all of whom participated in a challenge to write a poem a day for a year. Edited by Roy J. Beckemeyer, James Benger, Dan Pohl, and Diane Wahto. ISBN 978-1-5349059-6-2.
- “…these poems invite us to glimpse the shifting, extraordinary world in the seemingly still moments of the ordinary.” — Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
- “…sharing its voice for all of the right reasons, offering humanity, letting people know that they’re not alone, even on their darkest days.” — John Dorsey
Available on Amazon. ($10.00)
Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014, 100 pp.) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. ISBN 978-0-9795844-8-0.
- “…a strong visual sense, astute storytelling technique and attunements to the rhythms of the natural world. Beckemeyer creates a remembered music…that leads to quiet epiphanies and delights…What stands out in these rich, resonant poems is the care of craft…crisp lexicon and vibrant images…At his best, Beckemeyer rises to aesthetic heights that reflect the rich heritage of the Plains…” — Arlice Davenport, Wichita Eagle.
- “Roy Beckemeyer’s poems are like prairie stones, washed by storm, and carved by wind and time. Each is different. Each is formed by the experiences of a lifetime.” —Al Ortolani
- Beckemeyer’s poetry moves with the surety of the practised dancer who not only knows the steps but truly feels the music…full of surprising variations on its theme. Music I Once Could Dance To is a masterful first book.” — Bill Sheldon
Available from Coal City Press