New Poetry Compilation Awaits “At Beauty’s Pawnshop”

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Author John O'Dell embarks on a contemplative poetic Odyssey

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Australian-American author John O’Dell invites readers to enter and browse At Beauty’s Pawnshop. There, they will discover a recalcitrant ghost, a rare white crow, Japanese temples, mountains and apples, spawning Alaskan salmon— a life’s journey filled with love and hope, but also moments of pain, struggle, doubt, and rebellion that have their own beauty. With brilliantly crafted images, and controlled melodic language, the poems map the author’s life from the vast emptiness of Australia’s bush, to Illinois corn fields, to 50s California and back to Australia again. In the opening poem, a monarch butterfly asks What have we here? By the end of the collection we find that what we have here are common miracles that take us to new heights when the author suspends them in time, gifting us with the opportunity to inspect them, feel them, relive them.

In this place, where thoughts and feelings intersect, O’Dell conveys the poignant and the whimsical, the forlorn and the exuberant, through reminiscences and flights of imagination alike. In “The Rocker” he imagines the hands of another craftsman who, decades before, fashioned the chair the poet sands. In “The Flash Mob” he recounts the defiance of female prisoners in a 19th century Tasmanian prison. The reader will meet adventurers and dreamers like Wan Hu, a medieval celestial navigator, and hear La Belle Dame Sans Merci speak in her own defense. Intimate moments are also recollected, as in the verses of “So Easily,” which sing: “You don’t get away so easily / she teases as I hurry out the door / Arms pull me back for one more / of what, after all, is a finite number / of kisses, each one slyly drawing us / nearer to a last one, waiting, patient / in dire innocence, somewhere ahead.”

At Beauty’s Pawnshop is the destination for those seeking well crafted poetry and the beauty residing within it.

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About the Author
Poetry has appeared in The Potomac Review, The Baltimore Review, The Birmingham Poetry review, The George Mason Review, The Atlanta Review, and others. Work appears in several anthologies including Free State: A Harvest of Maryland Poets, and Hungry As We Are. Was a 1997 Individual Artist Award recipient from the Maryland State Arts Council. Is the author of a collection of poems, Painting at Night, (Little Cove Press, 1994).

At Beauty's Pawnshop * by John O'Dell
Publication Date: January 17, 2013
Trade Paperback; $12.99; 93 pages; 978-1-4797-7109-7
Trade Hardback; $15.99; 93 pages; 978-1-4797-7110-3
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-7111-0

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