Project Description

KEN HAAS

Ken Haas has been published in more than fifty journals, including Clare, Cottonwood, Existere, Forge, The Helix, Natural Bridge, Poet Lore, Quiddity, and Spoon River. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has won the Betsy Colquitt Poetry Award, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He received a BA in History and Literature from Harvard College, and an MA in English from the University of Sussex, U.K., where he wrote his dissertation on Wallace Stevens. The son of European immigrants, Ken grew up in New York City and now lives in San Francisco where he works in healthcare and sponsors a weekly poetry writing program at UCSF Children’s Hospital. www.kenhaas.org.

Borrowed Light

Pub Date: 6/15/2020

DESCRIPTION: Poetry

BORROWED LIGHT, Ken Haas’ first collection of poems, is complex, vibrant, capacious and wildly imaginative. With affection and wonderful clarity, Haas describes a childhood of ‘taking infield practice and shagging flies,’ Atlantic City’s ‘sunburn and saltwater taffy,’ a trip into Manhattan to see the legendary John Coltrane, who ’emptied his arms in a wave that even now speaks to the kind of man I could become.’ But it would be a mistake to call this book nostalgic. Haas is keenly aware of the darker forces of history. The same anti-Semitism that forced his grandparents to flee Nazi Germany is alive and well today—’we just forgot that shirt-wise brown is brown, words do burn, and we can see the rest from here.’ Yet what emerges overall is a celebration of the immigrant. Peopled with men and women from El Salvador, China, Mexico, Philippines. BORROWED LIGHT is an invitation to empathy, an embrace of the stranger, a sanctuary.

—Ellen Bass, Author of Indigo

 

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