Paul Bowers releases poetry book
NOC Enid Language Arts Instructor Dr. Paul Bowers recently published his third book of poetry, released in May 2022.
The book, titled Ten Acres of the Universe, is published by Turning Plow Press.
The following is an excerpt from a review by Kansas poet Roy Beckemeyer:
“In the first poem of Ten Acres of the Universe, Paul Bowers shows he can wrap an event as timeless and familiar as spring plowing in words and images as fresh and unanticipated as spring’s surprising renewals. Elsewhere, he points out “stars and galaxies … heading home at dawn, / the dying glow of their headlights / disappearing over the farthest hilltop of the Milky Way” and we find ourselves both safe at home and feeling we have traveled to the far reaches of the heavens.
In Bowers’ Ten Acres, “Before we know it, it is Sunday evening. / The birds abandon the sky / and fold their songs like wings.” At a checkout line, a man behind him “…smiled when my wife waved him forward / as if such small acts coaxed the soul / nearer the skin’s surface, and once, there, / took a long quiet breath, exhaled, waved back.” He turns his mind to documenting the migration and evolution of love as years advance:
—for his wife, on hearing a patient in a doctor’s office quietly humming the spiritual “This Little Light of Mine”: “I am waiting for my wife to return / from the inner chambers of the heart clinic; / and here, in my exile … I can’t for the life of me / remember what that little light is / the woman only four chairs over softly sings about.”
—for his mother, when blowing leaves remind her of him as a child, burying himself in a raked pile: “And in her mind, lately filled / with the debris of dementia … I bury myself again / and again in that mound of piling thoughts where I will remain hidden / and safe…”
—and, for his hospitalized father “…dying in a sunken submarine. / If I had a wrench I’d break the porthole glass / but it’s too late, it’s been too long / and he is fathoms deep.”
Arranged in four chapters, the seasons from spring through winter, these poems capture the universality of the passage of our collective years, the patterns of hours and skies and everyday encounters that make up our days; they are like string reminders tied around your heart that will bring back moments from your own life, vivid and alive, some quietly peaceful, some devastatingly poignant. This is a book I will keep close and read often; I suspect you will want to do so, as well.”
Other books by Bowers include two poetry collections: The Lone, Cautious, Animal Life (2016) and Occasional Hymns (2018), and a collection of short stories, Like Men, Made Various (2006).
Bowers has taught at NOC Enid since 1999.
Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public two-year community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services.
NOC serves nearly 4,000 students through the home campus in Tonkawa, branch in Enid, and NOC/OSU Gateway Program in Stillwater. Of these students about 80% receive financial aid and/or scholarships. 75% of NOC students complete their degree with zero debt.
The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science; the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing.
For more information about Northern Oklahoma College please call (580) 628-6208 or visit the NOC website at www.noc.edu.