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We are pleased to announce a new chapbook release: A Journal of the Drought Year by Don Thompson. This book of poems explores the arid and brittled facets of experience in living out a year of the enduring California drought. A Journal of the Drought Year is now available for pre-order from the Encircle Publications Book Store. This is a chapbook you won’t want to miss!

Praise for A Journal of the Drought Year:

Don Thompson is a poet with reverence for the natural world, and in his spare but elegant poems he writes about the condition that haunts California today-the drought (“Our rain must be brooding somewhere…” and “The plants that make it/have sparse foliage like an afterthought…”). Thompson creates songs of wonder and hope in A Journal of the Drought Year, transforming the desert world he inhabits into a place where poets can engage in spiritual contemplation, live in the Now and take “lessons in silence,” riding, as one poem puts it, with the Holy Ghost all night if the need arises.
He creates tenable, direct verse about the scarcity of water in an unresponsive and fierce landscape, describing a place of sage and mesquite, dry grass, parched wind and shimmering rock, believing “that next year or the next, water/will flow down from Sacramento, more than a trickle.” In A Journal of the Drought Year, Thompson deals with the loneliness and alienation of contemporary times but with skill and sure instinct, he captures the “words that sometimes come hard,” yet…”hum like a flute underwater,/a note of hope-/this is what you have.”


Diane Moore, Louisiana author, poet (Strand of Beads, Border Press), and blogger, “A Word’s Worth” (revmoore.blogspot.com)

Sample from Entries from a Journal of the Drought Year

14.

After the drought has gone on
and on for a season so unimaginable
no one has ever named it,
the not-a-rainbow will form,
its bands in the primary colors
of dust…

God promising never again
by desiccation, by slow withering.
And then the rain, the rain,
finally the rain

About the poet:

DonThompsonRecently chosen as the first Poet Laureate of Kern County, California, Don Thompson was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, and has lived in the southern San Joaquin Valley for most of his life. Now retired from teaching in the prison system, he lives with his wife, Chris, on her family’s farm in the house that has been home to four generations. Thompson has been publishing poetry since the early sixties, including a dozen books and chapbooks. For more information and links to his publications, visit his website San Joaquin Ink (don-e-thompson.com).