Gallery West will host a book signing for South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, New and Selected Poems, and author Maggie Schein, Lost Cantos of the Ouroboros Caves (Expanded Edition). Books will be available at the gallery for purchase.
Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina poet laureate and five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of three collections of verse, the children's book Shackles (2009 Silver Medal winner in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards), and Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights (with Juan E. Mendez). She is coeditor with Kwame Dawes of Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green (University of South Carolina Press). Wentworth teaches at the Art Institute of Charleston, and she is the president and cofounder of the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts.
New and Selected Poems includes more than fifty poems from Marjory Wentworth's previous three collections, Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, and The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle, plus twenty-eight new poems. This collection serves as a capstone to Wentworth's tenure as South Carolina poet laureate, a title she has held since 2003.
Thematically Wentworth's poems invite us to view nature as a site of reflection and healing, to consider the power of familial bonds and friendships, and to broaden our awareness of human rights and social justice. Regional settings appear throughout, indicative of Wentworth's commitment to represent her adopted home state of South Carolina in her work. She skillfully employs a variety of forms, from prose poems to sonnets to elegies to list poems, making for a rich and interesting trek through this "best of" collection of her poems to date.
Maggie Schein was raised on stories. Schein holds a Ph.D. in ethics from the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought. An admirer of Taoist and Buddhist texts, philosophies, and practices, as well as the works of naturalists and Native American storytellers, Schein brings a wealth of complementary and conflicting perspectives to her imaginative, lyrical fiction. She lives in Beaufort, South Carolina, with her motley menagerie of rescued animals and artist Jonathan Hannah.
An enticing collection of tales told in the fabulist and metafiction traditions, Lost Cantos of the Ouroboros Caves embraces a cyclical movement of renewal, like the ancient ouroboros motif itself, in which artfully rendered answers always give rise to perplexing new questions. Maggie Schein's stories introduce medicine men, monks, immortals, witches, seekers, and souls in various stages of their cycles in and out of lived life, as well as the occasional talking animal, all searching for meaning and for connections to one another through storytelling. Each fable is a meditation on love, death, growth, pain, identity, self, spirit, cruelty, beauty, and the natural order, as seen from the perspectives of the primal, the celestial, or the spiritual. Rooted in the archetypes of mythology and philosophy, Schein's lost cantos are stories about the events that make up our lives and our deaths. She makes deft use of familiar forms and universal symbols to explore anew through narrative those questions and experiences that have always vexed us about our confounding existence and the speculative possibilities that abound within and beyond the mortal coil. Schein's tales ask us to reconsider what it means to live and to die, to be simultaneously a creature of magic and the mundane, of the extraordinary and the all-too-ordinary. The result is a delicate but potent collection of alluring fables for the modern reader, recalling classical stories and myths of days long past and asking once more the questions that continue to haunt us.
This expanded edition adds three new fables not included in the original edition as well as new illustrations for all eleven stories from artist Jonathan Hannah.
Limited to 500 numbered copies, the hardcover collector's edition of Lost Cantos of the Ouroboros Caves: Expanded Edition, includes audio CDs of select fables narrated by two-time Grammy Award winner Janis Ian and a colophon page signed by author Maggie Schein, illustrator Jonathan Hannah, and foreword writer Pat Conroy.