I Only Left for Tea: Poems

I Only Left for Tea: Poems

By Al Black

$12 from Muddy Ford Press

Author Bio

A Hoosier in the land of cotton, Al Black was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana. He has been married 42 years to Carol Agnew Black; they have four grown children and nine grandchildren. Black was drafted and served as a Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam era, attended Ball State and Purdue Universities, and is a Baha’i. By day he has worked in various management positions and been a business owner; by night he has been an athlete, coach, community activist, and town gadfly.

Black began writing verse at age nine, but kept his poems strictly to himself. In late 2008, he moved to South Carolina so his wife could accept a job as a professor of Sociology. Unemployed for the first time and free from family and community expectations, he publicly shared his first poetry four years ago. Black considers himself a northern born Southern poet because it was here in the South that he felt free to blossom.

Praise for I Only Left for Tea: Poems by Al Black

“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 kind of 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 life now in the American South, and even as it opens out into 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.” – Ed Madden, author of Nest