New date and time!

Poetry reading at Thomaston library Feb. 21

Feb 10, 2020
Jason Grundstrom-Whitney

THOMASTON — Thomaston Public Library, 60 Main St., presents a reading from poet Jason Grundstrom-Whitney on Friday, Feb. 21, at 5 p.m. His first book of poetry, "Bear, Coyote, Raven," was recently published by Resolute Bear Press and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a National Book Award.

A bear can be a person, though most prefer to be bears. Did a coyote ever lead you to a story? Have you ever lost yourself in the blue-black eye of a raven? Imagine three such creatures transitioning from people to animals and back, walking along a desert highway dressed in their finest three-piece suits: ribbon shirts, jeans and moccasins, foraging a city alley for supper, or sharing stories under a starlit sky. If you listen closely, you could learn something from these three magical creatures. In his first book of poems, Grundstrom-Whitney introduces numerous variations of this American trio. Sometimes Bear gets his paw stuck in a back-street dumpster. Coyote shows people how to trick themselves. Raven travels to the far north to bring back another story.

The poems in "Bear, Coyote, Raven" welcome the reader into their shape-shifting world, where themes of environmental degradation, violence and technological troubles explore what we have lost and suggest solutions: to connect with the web of being and those blessed in their own right. An old native epigram invites us to walk in the moccasins of others, to be in touch with the present, aware of the past, and to laugh at our missteps when we step into something we did not see. The poet asks us to engage, to take the time to invest our energy, and to explore this different way of being.

Grundstrom-Whitney’s poetry has appeared in anthologies, and the band Osha Root recently produced a CD featuring his music and poetry. He has spent a lifetime working on Native American Rights, sexual assault and domestic violence survival, hospice and end of life care, homeless and environmental issues, and alternative medicine practice. A Bear Clan member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, Grundstrom-Whitney studied with native teachers and many others while he hitchhiked across America for two and a half years. He is a father, grandfather and husband, and has been in recovery for 37 years.

Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact the library at 354-2453 or at programs@thomaston.lib.me.us.

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