Poets Ralph Earle & Jenny Bates

Ralph Earle’s poetry is like a breeze wafting through a screen door in spring, companionable, comforting, trusting and true. You can feel safe here with these poems, safe enough to leave your front door open and to let them come into your life, mind, and heart. They have so much to give: insight, humor, surprise, and delight. They are not without sadness, because after all that’s The Way the Rain Works, to borrow from Earle’s earlier chapbook, some of whose poems find a welcome second home here, because all of our experiences are carefully voiced in these poems. Having spent lovely hours, awake not asleep, with these poems, I too can say “Let Us All Be Happy” and mean it, not just for myself, not just for my companions on a train, but for everyone.

—Paul Jones, author of Something Wonderful

In this luminous collection, Ralph Earle contemplates his life and ours, as we “cross the darkness on a bridge of reed / between the ruin and the radiance.” In poems that dazzle with surprising metaphors, precise language and close observations of nature, Earle relates his journey as son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and seeker of the Absolute. “Life writes its stories on us,” he says, and narrates his with quiet lyricism. Early in his marriage, “days carried us weightless / as paper lanterns in the trees.” Later his wife’s mental illness worsens: “wheeling out of the blue sky / of what we expected….” His gaze is clear and compassionate. He considers violence, oppression and injustice, the climate calamity, and waits for America “to walk off a cliff / clutching its…red-white-and-blue / umbrella.” Even so, these shimmering poems invite us to regard every moment as “a lake / brimming with light.”

—Janis Harrington, author of How to Cut a Woman in Half,
Waiting for the Hurricane


Jenny Bates, five poetry books, published in numerous NC and international journals. Presented at the 2023 Ecopoetics and Environmental Aesthetics Conference, London. Jenny was a judge for the Poetry in Plain Sight contest through Winston-Salem Writers, 2024. Her newest book of poems, ESSENTIAL, Redhawk Publications 2023 has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2024. Jenny’s books are also available at Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville, NC and the Book Ferret, Winston-Salem, NC.

In Praise of the Author


From Soil and Soul: musings on the irredeemable spirit, invites us to join the poet on her journey- grounded in earth and aspiring for redemption; a communion with the divine through devotion to Mystery’s manifestations in the natural world. In this work of ekphrastic poetry drawing inspiration from the 19th century artist, Gustave Doré’s bible illustrations, Jenny dares to share her “irredeemable spirit”- a yearning for grace amidst despair where ancient texts inform a new and needed mythology. Jenny’s poetry challenges the darkness with subtle word play and music, a quiet humor, the surprise of paradox and non-sequitur where the sensual and spiritual co-create the whole of the holy. And so this book of ancient stories told anew proves rich and rewarding. Indeed, enchanting. Jenny writes into being a world of passion and magic. Her poetry- a breath of prayer. Blessed be.

—Steve Braff, author of Forty Days (Cholla Needles Press), delights in reading, recording, writing, and teaching poetry

From Soil and Soul: musings on the irredeemable Spirit By Jenny Bates Cover Image
ISBN: 9781959346418
Availability: Available - We'll have it for you ASAP!
Published: Redhawk Publications - April 1st, 2024

Event date: 
Sunday, May 5, 2024 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Event address: 
304 S. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27401