Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
Solving the World's Problems
by Robert Lee Brewer
A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection
9 x 6 paperback, 92 pages
Praise for Solving the World's Problems
Rather than solving the world’s problems, this collection turns them to the sun like a prism—casting bright and spare images of humanity in flux. "We spill ourselves all over ourselves," one poem observes, "our excess light / our forgiving natures." A girl buries a blue jay beneath playground wood chips; God adjusts the brim on his cap as he watches the ice melt. Brewer’s sound-play has the power to take us to unexpected places. In regards to ‘the last bomb on earth,’ we are advised "if you see the button / push the button // her button / is a dark puddle in a cave / proper handshake." Compassionate, challenging, and filled with slinky swerves of phrase, these poems refresh how we look at our daily lives.
—Sandra Beasley, author of I Was the Jukebox
The "World" in Robert Lee Brewer’s Solving the World’s Problems is a slippery world ... where chaos always hovers near, where we are (and should be) "splashing around in dark puddles." And one feels a bit dizzy reading these poems because (while always clear, always full of meaning) they come at reality slantwise so that nothing is quite the same and the reader comes away with a new way of looking at the ordinary objects and events of life. The poems are brim-full of surprises and delights, twists in the language, double-meanings of words, leaps of thought and imagination, interesting line-breaks. There are love and relationship poems, dream poems, poems of life in the modern world. And always the sense (as he writes) of "pulling the world closer to me/leaves falling to the ground/ birds flying south." I read these once, twice with great enjoyment. I will go back to them often.
—Patricia Fargnoli, former Poet Laureate of New Hampshire and author of Then, Something
These poems illustrate the vitality of poetry in our daily lives. Diverse, refreshing, even at times startling, these poems make bold claims for poetry. Robert Lee Brewer confesses that like all poets he wants “to say something important …. to write the poem / that inspires other people / to build chairs and / drive trucks and write poems.” Brewer knows how important the reflexive act of writing poetry can be, should be, and often is in our daily attempts to solve the world’s problems.
—Scott Owens, author of Something Knows the Moment
Meet cover artist Nicki Fitz-Gerald
Cover artist Nicki Fitz-Gerald began her career as an illustrator in London after graduating from Chelsea School of Art in 1997. Her illustration work has been widely published in mainstream and business publications as well as book covers for the UK publisher, the Women's Press.
In 2010 Nicki fell in love with iPhone photography and her iPhoneography was exhibited at the first Eyephoneography Exhibition in Madrid. Her image, “Flamin’ Amy,” won 4th place in Life in LoFi’s Faved of the Year 2011, and in 2013 Nicki won five awards including four honorable mentions in the Mobile Photography Awards 2013. All five were displayed at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art in New York City and the Holcim Gallery near Toronto in Canada. Nicki ‘s work and her life as “a mom with an iPhone” was featured in the P1xels’ digital magazine iPhotographer in June 2013.
Nicki is founder of the website iPhoneographyCentral.com, which she now co-manages with Bob Weil. In 2013 Nicki co-authored a book with Bob showcasing 45 top iPhoneographers called The Art of iPhone Photography – Creating Great Photos and Art on your iPhone.
ROBERT LEE BREWER was born and lived his first 30 years in Southwestern Ohio before moving to the sprawl of Atlanta, Georgia. As Senior Content Editor of the Writer's Digest Writing Community, he gets paid to edit books (including Poet's Market), manage websites and blogs (including Poetic Asides), write magazine articles, participate in online education, and speak nationally on topics related to writing and publishing. As a poet, Robert was named Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere in 2010, has been a featured reader at several poetry events around the country, and has found homes for dozens of his poems in online and print publications. He also self-published two limited edition (and sold out) chapbooks of poetry, Enter and Escape. As a freelancer, he curates an image-based poetry series for Virginia Quarterly Review. As a human being, Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Learn more at www.robertleebrewer.com.
from one place to the next
first there’s a girl who visits this playground
on rainy days today she finds a dead
blue jay and buries it beneath woodchips
several men wearing fluorescent vests
gather around the flatbed of a truck
none of them notice me when i depart
the girl finds a blue feather to insert
into the fresh grave she bends down and calls
me over she asks me to say something
i want to say something important more
than i’ve ever wanted anything but
i can’t find the words stunned i find my car
leaves flutter from the roof as i drive home
only yesterday they fell from their trees
spiraling to the earth like accidents