At mid-career, it seemed high time for internationally-acclaimed, award-winning poet John B. Lee to bring together between the covers of a single volume the best of his previously-published works. At this point in his career, the half-way point, he is looking back and gathering in those poems which have earned him the much-deserved admiration of his peers and poetry lovers everywhere.
The Half-Way Tree reaffirms the range and depth of John B. Lee’s work making it easy to understand why he is the only two-time winner of the People’s Poetry Award. Included herein are the wonderfully innovative and brave audience favorites such as “Jimi Hendrix in the Company of Cows,” and “The Hockey Player Sonnets.” These are poems of genuine humor and laugh-out-loud celebration of play and love of language. The Half-Way Tree reveals a range of music and lyrical strength to justify one critic’s accolades. Ronald B. Hatch, writing in Essays on Canadian Writing, enthused, “Where Lee differs from other poets is in his powerful use of language. His imagery reminds me of the incantatory 1940s poets and is among the strongest I have seen in a long time… The verse shines, almost shouts with its intense physicality.” Little wonder then, that Rolling Stone magazine sighted Lee as “one of the best poets in North America.” And as a bonus, in the company of the selected poems are an equal number of new works. The Half-Way Tree looks to the past, celebrates the present, and makes for a promising future.