|C. F. Library to Host Author Robert Merritt|
Clifton Forge, VA (May 13, 2019) - The public is cordially invited to spend an evening with author and poet Robert Merritt. His program will be held in the Michael Armstrong Community Room of the Clifton Forge Public Library. It will begin at 6:00 p.m., on Thursday, May 30.
Dr. Merrittâs current book of poetry, âView from Blue-Jade Mountain,â was released in February.
Author Jeff Daniel Marion writes in his book review that the poems in Merrittâs latest collection âare poised on that fine and tenuous line between the immediacy of the present and the hauntingly rich enormity of the past. âWhat can we hold on to in the fire of flux?â one poem asks while another suggests â. . . we always walk on holy ground. The landscape is awash with stars.ââ
Author Jesse Graves states in his review that âMerritt is a master of making connections not previously seen, between experiences, places, diverse art forms, and friends who have lost touch.â He continues, âMerritt knows and speaks in the hard language of precise images,â whether in a tender love poem or a devoted place poem.
Author Diane Allerdyce writes in her review that Merritt infuses his âprofound relationship with his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the philosophical landscapes of China to create a many-layered terrain of exquisite light and beauty.â She continues, âMerrittâs imagery sings with nostalgia and compassion. There is also humor, albeit sometimes a humor tinged with sadness . . .â
âAbove all,â Allerdyce concludes her review, âMerrittâs remarkable collection invokes a sense of hope in loveâs resilience and in poetryâs power to take us home.â
Dr. Merritt is the author of two additional volumes of poetry: âLandscape Architect;â and, âThe Language of Longing.â The power of place and the continual search for home are recurrent themes in these two books.
About âThe Language of Longing,â Dr. Merritt says, âThe longing is for the longing to continue.Â Desire is life.â He continues, âOne great pleasure I find in writing is to discover and invent pattern â in this case, of my wandering.â
He is also the author of âEarly Music and the Aesthetics of Ezra Pound,â which incorporates his interest in the interrelationship of the arts with literature.
Dr. Merritt carries a zeal for writing. He believes that each person has the power to shape his or her life and that, âOften, writing can be a great help.â To that end, he is a board member of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and offers workshops on the healing power of expressive writing.
Dr. Merritt grew up in North Carolina, received a B.A and M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, and a Ph.D from the University of Kentucky. He is the Chair of the English Department, a professor of English, and the director of the Honors Program at Virginiaâs Bluefield College. He is also the faculty advisor of âThe Bluestone Review,â the college literary magazine he founded in 1992. He has taught poetry in China and is a board member of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation.
Dr. Merritt has a link to Clifton Forge that pulls him to the area â his mother was born in Clifton Forge as were other members of his family who also owned local businesses. His program will include family history that weaves into his âView from Blue-Jade Mountain.â
Dr. Merrittâs program will conclude with a book signing.
Copies of âThe Language of Longingâ and âView from Blue-Jade Mountainâ will be available for purchase.
Admission is free.
Light refreshments will be provided.
The Clifton Forge Public Library is located at 535 Church Street.
For information on any library program, call 863-2519.