Elk River Books is pleased to welcome poet Elizabeth Biller Chapman to read from her collection Light Thickens (Ashland Poetry Press, 2009) at the store on Tuesday, August 21 at 7 p.m.
Chapman, who lives in Palo Alto, did not write her first poem until age 43, but has been widely published since with her work appearing in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Bellevue Literary Review, Image and The Texas Observer. Her latest book, Light Thickens, is described as “a mournful, hopeful collection with imagery as thick and sweet as molasses.” In an interview, Chapman says that while she worked as a teacher and psychotherapist, her two real vocations were mother and poet. “I didn’t choose to be a poet,” she says. “It chose me.”
Her work has been praised by such luminaries as W.S. Merwin, who wrote of Chapman’s first book, “What a lovely image with its powerful metaphors of light and death, of light and living illumination all inseparable, and the brevity and cruelty and rush of the moment in it. The strains of memory, grief, recurring light plays all through the poems.”
Chapman won the 2008 Robert McGovern Publication Prize for poets over 40, and she was a finalist for the 2010 Eric Hoffer Award, honoring salient writing of significant merit.
The reading is free, and will take place at Elk River Books, 115 E. Callender St. in Livingston, and will be followed by a signing.