Literature Program

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Co-sponsored/co-presented by:
Talking Leaves Books

Joe Coulson

Author of the new novel Of Song & Water

Presented at:

Former Buffalonian Joe Coulson's new novel Of Song and Water (Archipelago Books, April 2007) tells a tale of the Great Lakes, of single-handed sailors and jazz musicians, of working-class dreams blighted by family duty, personal betrayals, and the untold violence between fathers and sons. The story moves from the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Erie to the jazz bars of Detroit and Chicago, from 1920s Rivertown to present-day Humbug Marina, as it follows the life of Coleman Moore, a jazz guitarist who began his career with promise but now finds himself adrift and in the company of ghosts: his mentor, a black jazz legend trying to live peacefully on the edge of a white town; his grandfather, a Prohibition rumrunner turned ruthless entrepreneur; and his first love, a clear-headed woman who refuses to live in the dark tunnels of the past. In language that evokes the riffs and rhythms of jazz and the sound and movement of the Great Lakes, Coulson's second novel is a profound Orphic journey, a story of hidden truths, unfulfilled dreams, and possible redemption. "The jazz scenes crackle with energy and authority…Coulson moves fluidly between the past and the present, and the novel is ultimately quiet, affecting and redemptive."—Publishers Weekly

Joe Coulson lived and studied creative writing in Buffalo in the early 1980s, working closely with the late poets Robert Creeley and John Logan, whom Joe considers both important mentors and good friends. He eventually received his Ph.D. in English from UB.

In keeping with the theme of jazz in Of Song and Water, the reading and book signing will be followed at 8:30 by a concert by world-renowned Dutch jazz bassist Wilbert de Joode. (Although the reading is free, there will be an admission charge for the concert.)

Some publications related to this event:
April, 2007 - 2007