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James A. LaFond-Lewis' The Year There Were No Apples is a collection of declarations and indictments: love, government, God, humanity, sexuality and nature. Its style is short and sharp, informal and unbeholden.
"James LaFond-Lewis' The Year There Were No Apples is 'under the influence of a sunset' as the poet so aptly writes in Controlled Substance. In this, the author's first volume, he writes with a lyrical intimacy, both complex and accessible that holds a universal richness liberally sprinkled with humor and metaphor.." --MaryEllen Letarte
"The heel of the palm strikes the head of the chisel, and the steel tip whorls bare, pale, fragrant, wood. So precise and hard are the words that seem cut into shape by Jim LaFond-Lewis' uncompromising, unflinching poetry. Unkind, loving, shaking the banal despair of the fact of death, taking stock of Nature's beauty and disorder, a man speaking of women, wife, lover, death herself, love itself, a season lost, a life remembered in familial romance, The Year There Were No Apples works its true way right to us." --Alan Smith Soto
" The Year There Were No Apples is a bold collection of poetry, with original images leaping from every page. Jim LaFond-Lewis writes poetry the way it should be--passionate but crisp, complicated but easy to enjoy. He doesn't shy away from describing either the lovely or ugly elements of life. 'She suggested tea, black and sweet,' he says in a romantic narrative about Making Soup. But 'uprooted souls, gnarled and knotty' are found nearby in Quabbin: Public Works. LaFond-Lewis wrestles with the important topics--love, marriage, spirituality, seasons, places, nature, danger, childhood, family, death--with strikingly unique perspective and language. The Year There Were No Apples urges readers to explore universal themes in a completely fresh way." --Sandra Storey
ISBN-13: 978-1625491978, 102 pages, $19