The photo of Bonnie Jo Campbell and the donkey is no April Fool’s joke. Bonnie Jo Campbell raises donkeys. And she can also raise your dander with some of the tales (not tails) she tells in her inspired writing. Campbell was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2009 for her book “American Salvage”. Her new book, “Once Upon a River” is due out in July and it will stun you with both its beauty and its darkness. The writing is remarkable and her descriptions of the natural world are to be read and re-read. If you grew up on or near a river as I did this book will take you on a journey you may recognize. Read more about her books and writing on her website.
When I asked Bonnie if she wrote poetry she mentioned something about trying it by writing a poem-a-day for a year. I just asked her for one and the result is a poem that fits the Lansing Online News theme of a sense of place perfectly. Her poem is about shopping at Meijer and you will have to read the rest on the first day of Lansing Online News’ Poem/a/Day in honor of National Poetry Month.
Bonnie Jo Campbell gets the lead off slot because she will be in Lansing on Saturday for A Rally of Writers where she will be the featured luncheon speaker and will conduct two workshops on writing. Read more about the Rally here. Following the Rally she will do an informal appearance at EVERYbody Reads Books on Michigan Avenue. That event starts at about 5 p.m. and I’ve promised her the best Spinach Pie in Lansing. Help! Check out the EVERYbody Reads here.
To read more about the Lansing Online News Poem/a/Day project and to learn how to submit your own poem click here. This year we’ve added a new wrinkle called “Tweetpoem” where you can submit a poem of 140 characters or less on Twitter. The hashtag is #LONpoem. I’m not sure limericks count.