What are afternoon horses?
The phrase comes from a poem in Deirdre Kessler’s poetry book, AFTERNOON HORSES, to be launched October 20th at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House by Acorn Press.
Though Kessler has been writing poetry for more years than she has been writing fiction and nonfiction and has had poems published in chapbooks and in a number of collections and journals, Afternoon Horses is her first book of poetry.
“Deirdre Kessler enfolds us in her sense of wonder for friendship, for history, for the endless revelations of nature,” writes poet and UPEI professor Richard Lemm. “Fierceness and sadness also appear, when a desert is sown with land mines, when we slaughter other species. Yet, so much of life surprises with beauty, and our ‘hands find the right places / in dark rooms or under stars in middle of nowhere.’ These are poems that find the right places, that surprise us with us joy.”
Poet Laureate David Helwig writes: “Deirdre Kessler’s Afternoon Horses…pays its homage to the bright images and shapely tales collected in travel. It goes abroad, but it also follows the vital rhythms of language inward. Then her lean, taut lines offer lessons in how to take flight while standing perfectly still.”
Peter Hay, Taswegian poet and visiting scholar to UPEI this fall, says: “Here is a poetry of quiet power, a poetry of deep, all-gathering compassion, a poetry that reaches out in love to all that swims and swarms upon the face of the earth.”
Deirdre Kessler is the author of a dozen novels and picture books for children, including Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice Award-winning Brupp Rides Again, a children’s novel, and Lobster in My Pocket, a perennially best-selling picture book. Her Island history book, a work that combines a fictional narrative with informational text, Exploring the Island, is now part of the P.E.I. grade six curriculum.
Kessler is recipient of the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts on Prince Edward Island and a P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation Writing Award for A Century on Spring Street. She has freelanced for CBC Television and Radio. Her poetry has appeared in several collections, including Landmarks: An Anthology of New Atlantic Canadian Poetry of the Land (Acorn 2001).
She lives in Charlottetown and teaches children’s literature and creative writing with the UPEI Department of English.
Wondering what afternoon horses are?
Come to Beaconsfield’s Carriage House on Tuesday evening, October 20th, 7 to 9 p.m., and all will be revealed. There will be a poetry reading, music, refreshments, book signing, and one terrible joke.