Poetry Book Launch for Alison Palmer and CL Bledsoe, Wednesday, October 12th at Hershey’s Restaurant & Bar, 6:30 pm


The title of Alison Palmer’s second poetry chapbook suggests the comfort of, or perhaps a yearning for, the known; but really it begs the question: What is our normal? The answers she provides often are far from comfortable, but she deals in necessary truths.

Here’s what people are saying:

Inside this unusual book is a beautiful series of fireflies—rapturous, urgent, always-surprising, longing as they flash their signal-lights for connection, against numbness, against a world which bans love…. “Blazes, in gifts of heat lightning; electrical thoughts.” Alison Palmer’s restless, original poetry (“I’m a means to those small creatures that curl within. / They kindle, bloom darkly below my surface.”) reveals a deep mind inside private loss…. Hers is an oft-tender, sometimes-vexed song. —Alessandra Lynch, author of Pretty Tripwire

In Alison Palmer’s Everything Is Normal Here, the speaker’s mission is clear: “I crusade // for my heart,” she tells us—for her heart, for tenderness, for touch, for bridging the chasms between bodies. In elegant line after elegant line, we are asked to fall in love with the bruised world from inside our bruised bodies, to revel in its wonders: moles that “tent their tiny paws,” chocolate coffins, “riverbanks flush with irises.” Palmer may be “singing makeshift songs” out of wounded necessity, but these songs are here to stay.—Kerri Webster, author of Lapis


In his thirtieth book, Habere Cervisium, CL Bledsoe searches for joie de vivre in the midst of personal tragedy. Dealing with a death in the family, a failed relationship, and the ever-present pandemic, these poems navigate loss while searching for humor and joy. A pulse of lyricism in these poems is irresistible and indubitable. The style of the poet is simple, sweet and satisfying with beautiful word-pattern and enchanting melody.


“Sometimes you need a professional opinion/to know you’re alive,” CL Bledsoe quips in his collection The Bottle Episode. These poems explore the pandemic, reaching back to earlier days that were probably not that much better, but at least you could go outside. This collection is a lyrical force and shows freshness of style. No doubt, this is a significant work. The poems have great power of observation and originality of imagination.

We’ll be outside, under the tent, at Hershey’s — a welcoming space with great food and nice people. 17030 Oakmont Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

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