New Book Presents Compelling Poems, Stories and Novella

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William Bless’s literary collection expresses a search for meaning on American landscapes past and present.

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In his latest collection, Whoever We May Be At Last, William Bless delves into the inner lives of those we can never fully know. The rich common strand running throughout these poems, stories, and novella is the regenerative force of the natural world. The 21 poems which open the collection celebrate the presence of nature and its elemental power. The two stories trace the inner odysseys of two modern exiles; and the novella, which gives the collection its title, explores the soul of a contemporary American town and the consequences of war.

The poems which open the collection can be divided up thematically into Cape Cod poems, fishing poems, nature poems, and spiritual poems. Influenced by the imagist poetry of William Carlos Williams, the modernist work of Wallace Stevens and Hart Crane, and the more recent poems of Galway Kinnell and Jim Harrison, Bless’s poems give Zenlike attention to the real, ordinary things of the world, transforming them in the process.

The first story, “Tracks of the Beleaguered” presents the return of a World War II veteran to the Green Mountains of Vermont and his struggle to track a wounded whitetail buck. In understanding the deer’s physical agony and connection to the primordial, the protagonist slowly begins to confront his own psychological trauma in the aftermath of the brutal fighting on Okinawa. For the second short story, “Billie Holiday at the Atlantic House” Bless conjures up an unlikely encounter between a poor fisherman’s son and the legendary blues singer.
In the novella, he creates a fictive river town in contemporary America, one coming to terms with sacrifice and loss. With clear vision and heart-wrenching honesty, the fabric that binds us all together – community, history, education, interrelationship with the natural world, American identity, and self-knowledge – is explored and questioned.

For William Bless, writing is always an act of stepping into the unknown and encapsulating the mystery of being, an attempt to speak to the deepest layers of our universal humanity and imaginations.

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About the Author
William Bless’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared most recently in Litchfield Magazine, the Iconoclast, Vermont Literary Review, Hudson Valley Echoes, Lunarosity, America’s Civil War, Citizen News, Lake Effect Literary Journal, and many other national journals. He has spoken at the Northwestern Connecticut Writer’s Group and at Bridgeport Public Library. When not writing he can be found either fly-fishing, kayaking, hiking, camping, or playing guitar. An accomplished songwriter and composer, he had a song accepted into the Smithsonian Folkways Archive in 1995. He is currently at work on a novel. He lives in Connecticut.
Whoever We May Be At Last * by William Bless
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 136pages; 978-1-4771-4114-4
Trade Hardback; $22.99;136 pages; 978-1-4771-4115-1
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4771-4116-8

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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