The Path of Life

SPRING SONNETS is a collection of 90 sonnets selected from a group of 180 written by Don Yorty during the course of six years, from spring 2003 to spring 2009. Yorty takes this traditional poetic form and skillfully uses it as a container for contemporary writing. With wit, honesty, a sharp eye and a touch of sass, Yorty reflects on myriad topics: urban life (specifically in New York City); the natural world; love, sex, and marriage; family and friendship; aging and mortality; language, teaching, and poetry itself. These poems invite the reader into community with a careful and caring observer of day-to-day simplicities that resonate on a larger scale.

Don Yorty is a poet, educator, and garden activist living in New York City. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, A Few Swimmers Appear and Poet Laundromat (both from Philadelphia Eye & Ear), and he is included in Out of This World, An Anthology of the Poetry of the St. Mark's Poetry Project, 1966-1991. His novel What Night Forgets was published by Herodias Press in 2000. He blogs at an archive of current art, his own writing, and work of other poets.

What Night Forgets

n the late 1970's, John, a young poet, arrives in Oaxaca planning to take in the sights, and write. By a strange coincidence, he runs into Hugh, an old acquaintance who, now psychotic, claims to be fleeing CIA operatives who have brainwashed him. Julie, an alluring children's book illustrator traveling with her lover, Kathryn, arouses in John strong feelings, which, throughout this erotically charged story, offers a portrait of mellifluous, ambivalent sexuality. When Antonio, a Mexican guide and bodyguard, and Christine, a French developer who is planning on making millions creating tourist towns, enter the picture, this intimate travelogue of changing partners becomes an unbelievable adventure of terror that no reader can put down or ever forget.

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A Few Swimmers Appear 

Grounded and ethereal you sit, as you engage with the images, scenes and souls living within Don Yorty’s lyric lines in A Few Swimmers Appear. Find yourself lifted up and out of any constraints of form and function on victorious wax-stained wings returning you to your heart as it beats within and without and lies closer to you than your own breath. You will find yourself unadorned yet unabandoned in Don Yorty’s lines as they envelop you and carry you back to your center on familiar beats and intrinsic movement.