Book of Short Essays Brings Together the Natural World, Music, and Poetry
Readers will find a pleasing and indulgent reading experience.
Yet Sullivan's book is not poetry or a collection of short stories. It's a chapbook of essays. Chapbooks are usually more compact than their full-length relatives and provide a different reading experience than larger books in the same genre. Sullivan's metaphor fits her new book perfectly: "A chapbook is like a village: all the people who live there are likely to speak to one another several times a day, and each brief exchange helps to update a group 'story' that continually makes the rounds of the place."
While the themes that gently make the rounds in this book are not stories in themselves, the questions they raise could provide background material for making up new ones. When you hear people on the bus telling each other their life stories, why do you always wonder more about the parts that are missing? Hummingbirds waste energy so dangerously in summer; can we learn something from this? Is April Fool's Day an unlucky day to travel by train? How do certain memories just rise like mist through your body? Can words have a physical effect on you? Is it OK to give wildflowers their own names so you can remember them?
Consider spending an afternoon in a quiet village, sitting at a table under the grape arbor, raising a glass and joining a conversation that is congenial, philosophical, funny, tender, even informative—
Born under the sign of Libra, Anita Sullivan cheerfully admits to a life governed by issues of balance and harmony. This likely led to her career as a piano tuner, as well as her love of birds (Libra is an air sign), gardening, music, and fine literature. She spent years trying to decide if she was a piano tuner who wrote poetry or a poet who tuned pianos. She traveled a lot without becoming a nomad; taught without becoming a teacher; danced without becoming a dancer; fell totally in love with the high desert country of the Southwest and promptly moved to the Pacific Northwest rainforest. She has previously published two essay collections, a novel, two poetry chapbooks, and a full-length poetry collection. She was a founding member of the Portland, Oregon, poetry publishing collective Airlie Press.
Released in early July, The Bird That Swallowed the Music Box is published by Shanti Arts Publishing, Brunswick, Maine. It is available everywhere print and digital books are sold.