Baron Wormser brings to life the immense force poetry can have in people's lives. In stories funny, tender, sad, and edgy, the narrators register how poetry has changed how they see themselves, how they live, and what they care about. As it bends genres by adapting aspects of fiction, biography, essay and monologue, The Poetry Life shows how poetry can be lightning in the soul. "Baron Wormser has pulled off a miraculous feat--he has written a collection of stories that reveals the absolute necessity of poetry in our lives. His prose style is riveting, and his characters are as diverse as a phone book. Each voice conjures up a passionate portrait of inner life, telling us--through episodes both comic and tragic--that the world of the deceased poet remains eternally relevant to our own." --Clint McCown, author of The Weatherman: A Novel "'Poetry, ' Baron Wormser writes, 'is about generosity.' So too are these ten stories you hold in your hands. They are about generosity. And mystery. And loneliness. And life. They are about how poetry helps us 'stay in our skins.' You will fall in love with these stories and with the ten poets who appear in them. What Baron Wormser says about William Carlos Williams, I say about him here, 'He nailed it.'" --Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle: A Novel "A book of stories not about poets but driven by the presence of poetry and the shadows of poets: madness undoubtedly. But the best kind of madness! With this book, Baron Wormser invites us to reconsider the connection between poetry and our lives, to remember that we really do live hungry for inner vision, for small insights that can save us from the slag heap of goofdom and pointlessness. It's a wonderful book. It's the kind of stuff that makes you want to stay in the world. " --Tim Seibles, author of Buffalo Head Solos
BARON WORMSER is the author of seven books of poetry, a memoir, The Road Washes Out in Spring: A Poet's Memoir of Living Off the Grid, (UPNE, 2006, 2008) and has co-authored two books about teaching poetry. He teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program and directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching in Franconia, New Hampshire. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From 2000 to 2005 he served as Poet Laureate of Maine.