T. C. Boyle and a poem

Howdy-do friends.  May tomorrow! May tomorrow bring you happiness.

Solace in So Many Words has many fine contributors but not many have made the best-seller list yet, that is, except for T. C. Boyle. His  latest book The Harder They Come is  #3 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List. (BTW, it makes a great Mother’s Day present.)

The Los Angeles Times gives out Book Prizes during its Festival of Books and on April 18,  T. Coraghessan Boyle took home the  Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement.

And, T. C. Boyle was recently awarded The Rea Award for the Short Story.  The award was founded by Michael M. Rea in 1986 to encourage the writing of short fiction.

The annual $30,000 Rea Award recognizes a living U. S. or Canadian writer. Rea established the award to honor a writer who has made a significant contribution to the discipline of the short story as an art form. Three jurors are appointed each year to nominate and elect the winner. This year’s jurors, noted writers Richard Bausch, Robert Olen Butler and Elizabeth Strout, offered the following citation:

“T.C. Boyle is a genuine American original. In more than one hundred short stories and ten story collections (plus fifteen novels), Tom Boyle has furnished his own highly public and deluxe corner of contemporary American letters. His stories fairly glitter with imagination, an immense variety, hilarity, ambition and achieved talent. To his enduring credit and his readers’ delight and amaze, less is not in the Boyle fictive vocabulary, though in his stories’ dedication to matters of the heart and the human spirit, his finely tuned wit and his vision of our sometimes sad American fate have nothing of the cynical or the hopeless. His incomparable stories, even in their occasional dark interludes, always comes to us as a celebration. They redeem us and delight us and awaken our awareness as the finest writing should.”

Bravo Tom! If you would like to stay up to date with him, you can always read his latest post on his website.

Brava Bonnie J. Toomey whose poem “Mother of You” garnered the most comments of anything I have ever posted on this site.  Thanks for bringing so many readers, Bonnie.

Today’s the last day of Poetry Month. I didn’t do much to celebrate this year, but I did have some poems workshopped last week.  I’ll share one of them below. I don’t know if it is finished but no poem is ever really done.

Peace, love, and solace




You hear the voices first,

can’t place them

—not the next yard or two over—

but definitely coming closer:

a band of boys trek the frozen creek.


Heads down, looking at the ice,

the four natter to each other, laugh.

One’s in a red and black buffalo-check jacket,

like the one your first boyfriend wore.


You take a step back, but they don’t look up.

You’re not even in their field of vision;

their attention is on the ice, the talk.


You remember days hopping fences,

taking risks, gabbing about bullshit.

Someone maybe watched you.


Two days later,

the creek runs full

some chunks of ice, but mostly water

flowing one way, steadily passing.


© Ellen Wade Beals, 2015


The creek out back © Ellen Wade Beals, 2013



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