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The Coleopterist’s Dream

On my love’s shell a turquoise river curved through hazard green. While he slept, I explored the trees along its banks, high above the black whirlpools. Sometimes the lanterns of other seekers lit my way.  But to no avail, for in all my time with my beetle, I never found what I was looking for, nor could I have told you what it was. One morning I woke and found him dead. It was only then I understood that he carried no color at all, and never had.

Lola Haskins’ most recent poetry collection (of thirteen) is How Small, Confronting Morning, poems about inland Florida, (Jacar, 2016).  Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, The London Review of Books, Beloit Poetry Journal, Georgia Review, and Southern Review, and elsewhere, and  been broadcast on NPR and BBC, as well as being included in Billy Collins’ 180 project and featured in three columns by Ted Kooser, the current laureate and in broadcasts by Garrison Keillor.

Her other credits include a CD of poems with cello, an advice book for aspiring poets, Not Feathers Yet: A Beginner’s Guide to the Poetic Life (Backwaters Press), a book of fables about women whose names start with the letter “A,” Solutions Beginning with A,  images by Maggie Taylor (Modernbook), and a book about fifteen Florida cemeteries (University Press of Florida).

Ms. Haskins especially enjoys collaborating with artists in other media. Some of her favorite experiences have been working with collagist Derek Gores, photographer Dianne Farris and painter Ken Kerslake; appearing in three multimedia pieces (dance, violin, cello, story, and poems) at the Hippodrome State Theater in Gainesville FL; playing the speaking Mata Hari in a Dance Alive! ballet of that title for which she wrote the script; and performing her book Forty Four Ambitions for the Piano with composer James Paul Sain and pianist Kevin Sharpe.  Composer Paul Richards has recently finished setting all forty-four poems for voice and piano and is in the process of recording them.

Among  Ms. Haskins’ awards are two Florida Book Awards. the Iowa Poetry Prize, two NEAs, four Florida state arts fellowships, the Emily Dickinson/Writer Magazine prize from the Poetry Society of America, and narrative poetry prizes from The New England Review and the Southern Poetry Review. For more information, please visit her at www.lolahaskins.com.

Photo ©Joanne Warfield


July 18, 2016