My first collection of poems, a chapbook titled “Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty,” has been published this month by Finishing Line Press.
The book consists of 27 poems, many of them related to gardening, the outdoors, planting a perennial flower garden, and the environment. Other subjects include a father’s brush with death in World War II, visits to Greece and Lebanon, a busy day on a Boston beach, family crises, a birthday party, a nostalgic glance at youthful dreams, and an encounter with Syrian refugees.
The book received advance praise from Boston University poet and short story writer Robert Wexelblatt, who stated, “Knox’s well-tended garden of verses furnishes readers with elegant borders, unexpected vistas, gorgeous blossoms, and insights as sharp as thorns. His themes are as local as the backyard and as universal as the weather.”
According to the publisher’s description of the book, “The poems in ‘Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty’ discover a universe in a perennial flower garden. The characters in these poems are May and September, roses, asters, morning glory, anemone, honey bees, squirrels and hummingbirds. The poems followed a backyard gardener’s decision to dig up all the grass at his Boston area home and plant flowers, both perennials annuals, ground covers, shrubs, a small tree or two, berry bushes, and vegetables. To be an amateur means to do something not for money, but for love. A few summers later the garden blossomed, and the poems grew from the voices heard while tending the plants, pulling weeds, trimming old growth, planting anew.”
I am a reporter with a thousand bylines in the Boston Globe and other newspapers. My first novel, “Suosso’s Lane,” based on the Massachusetts roots of the infamous Sacco-Vanzetti case, was published last year. I presented programs on the book and the history behind it at Plymouth Public Library and a dozen other libraries and regional settings.
As contributing editor for the online poetry journal Verse-Virtual.com, I have been publishing new poetry on a monthly basis on that site for more than two years. My poems and stories have also appeared in other literary periodicals.
Finishing Line Press is an active, independent publisher of poetry based in Kentucky.
“Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty” is available from the publisher’s website, www.finishinglinepress.com, for $14.99.