NEW ENGLAND LITERARY NEWS
A book all about Cambridge, a Brookline Village bookstore closes, and a new poetry collection. By Nina MacLaughlin, Globe Correspondent, Updated April 28, 2022
Poetry that soars
Richard Wollman writes poems of the sky in his new collection, “Changeable Gods,” from Western Mass-based Slate Roof Press. Vast, varied, ever-shifting, creating its own world, our world: “The clouds are so far back, / the yellow ridges of the sky / so unreachable—” Wollman, a professor at Simmons, who lives in Amesbury, is deeply attuned to the colors, cloudscapes, streaks, and nightdomes. “Cerulean and nothing else, nothing / because the sea took everything.” But a force of presence in these lines is even more powerful than the sky: A woman named Sarah, to whom the book is dedicated, who died in 2007, thrums throughout. “Sarah was still alive. Gone a few weeks later. / No place before or since a home.” A depth of love and connection, and the gaping void of loss, is implicit, and perhaps, after such a love, and such a loss, perhaps it makes sense that Wollman’s attention is aimed at the sky—its endlessness the
only place vast enough to house the feeling of what’s gone.