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Overview

Kate Cumiskey's Yonder is a book of poems which links the lovely island at New Smyrna Beach with Cumiskey's experiences, there. The poems move through space and time taking the reader gently by the hand: one meets a rocket scientist and gazes with him at the wonders of the Universe, humbled at the grace of a benevolent Creator; a boy who uses sweltering summer days to chart the paths of American birds; a mad young girl who wishes only for simple geometry; a Southern gentleman who takes a taxi from Atlanta to Florida. The characters are rich, specific, sharp, fallible.

These poems reach the reader by accessing elements we all share-fear, love, failure, triumph. The poet puts her community on the page. There are poems to her mentors, her family, poets she studied with. Found poems, imagined perspectives from the modern to the ancient: one poem in three parts explores, first person, the hearts of Biblical matriarch Naomi and each of her daughters-in-law, another enters the mind of a woman with Alzheimer's forgotten, in wheel chair, at a nursing home. Cumiskey also deals, baldly and from her singular perspective, with issues such as spousal abuse and sexism in modern society.

While many poems move back through time to a childhood closely connected to the littoral zone in which the poet grew up, the lyric itself is informed by her early training-both eye and ear-in the traditions of her parents' deep Southern roots. Cumiskey learned to read from the King James Bible and the Broadman Hymnal, and the melody of the poems is steeped in that tradition. The ghosts of grandparents she never knew give the book its name; her father behaved as if they were living, close, and just out of sight for most of his life; he lost them before his eighth birthday. These poems sing with nostalgia, longing, and a deep appreciation for the richness and fallibility of the human heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780975510490
Publisher: Silent E Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2014
Pages: 58
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.12(d)

About the Author

Kate Cumiskey is a teacher currently working at the University of Central Florida. She grew up on the island at New Smyrna Beach, Florida, arriving there as a small child from her native Alabama. Her family came with the inception of the Space Program at Cape Canaveral; Kate's father was one of NASA's first designers. He was also a civil rights worker in Birmingham in the early 1960's--a true Southern liberal and Southern Baptist, her father's strong influence comes through in her poetry and her prose. The influence of her Atlanta belle mother as well as five brothers also informs her work. She and her husband Mikel lived in California and North Carolina, then raised four sons in the New Smyrna area. Kate is dedicated to impacting her community through education and volunteering. Having raised a son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she is fiercely concerned with the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities and with educating the public on valuing difference and teaching tolerance. She is heavily influenced by her mentors, particularly Robert Creeley, Mark Cox, Clyde Edgerton, and nonfiction writer Philip Gerard. She also enjoys a close working relationship with her sister and fellow poet, Carol Ann Davis. Kate takes every opportunity to learn from master writers who visit the wonderful artists' colony Atlantic Center for the Arts on Turnbull Bay in coastal Florida.

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