Athens and Virginia poets read works in Commerce

The first book of poetry by Athens poet Clifford Brooks III is — in the words of literary critic Dinty Moore — “a jazzy, aromatic, and spirited poetic mandala.”

“Enjoy life, his beautiful poems remind us, because life is all we have,” Moore, an Ohio University professor, wrote in a comment on Brooks’ book in Fjords Arts and Literary Review magazine.

Brooks, who has been published in more than 40 magazines, will be a guest speaker at 6 p.m. June 28 at the Commerce Public Library. Brooks will be joined by Lynchburg, Va., poet, John Gosslee, who will bring copies of his poetry book “12: Sonnets for the Zodiac.”

This double shot of poetry is free and open to the public.

Brooks’ book, “The Draw of Broken Eyes and Whirling Metaphysics,” was published by John Gosslee Books and released in April.

The book contains many of the more than 80 works of poetry by Brooks that were published during the last three years. As a result of the book, Gosslee said Brooks has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and Georgia Author of the Year.

A graduate of Shorter College in Rome with a degree in history and political science, Brooks is also a freelance writer.

Gosslee is poetry columnist for Oxford American, a literary magazine published in Arkansas focusing on Southern writing and culture.

Oxford American said of Gosslee: “John Gosslee puts 20,000 miles a year on his motorcycle. Some of his favorite writers are Rumi, Edgar Allan Poe, and Khalil Gibran.”

The library is located at 2319 North Elm St. Commerce.