Al Black

Mind Gravy | Sunday, May 17, 2:50 - 4:50, Carolina Meeting Room B
Genre(s) Poetry

Al Black is a northern born southern poet.

Born and raised in Lafayette, IN, he’s been writing poetry for more than 50 years, but didn’t share his poetry until he moved to the Deep South in 2008.

He often may be seen hosting Columbia area poetry events and is known to quietly habituate coffee shops, hoping to overhear a line to steal for a poem.

Book Title: I Only Left For Tea

“We return here often,” says Al Black in the book’s title poem, “to resume mid-sentence our conversation upon my deck.” that’s the feel of this book, a wide-ranging conversation with a friend. Even as the book teases out in confessional poems the relation between the past and the present, the author’s origins in the Midwest and his now in the American South, and even as it opens out intoe broader perspective in voices and stories that spin through the heart of the book, it comes back to the quiet intimacy and vulnerability that drives this collection. Leavetaking and loss haunt the book, but a desire for connection and continuity keeps us coming back to the deck for that “gift of time together.”