Ken Craft is the author of three poetry collections.
His books can be found online or — via the “Add to Cart” button — purchased directly through the author for signed copies.

Reincarnation & Other Stimulants:
Life, Death & In-Between Poems

Kelsay Books

Ken Craft’s third collection launches a new quest to understand life’s penchant for paradox. Through multiple voices and points of view, these poems explore the yin and yang of youth and old age, health and pain, self and no-self, life and death. For the poems’ speakers, the dilemma lies in how — or even if — they should react to the distinct and equally beguiling temptations of past, present, and future.

This book is a meditation on the profound emotional truth that from birth we are, in the words of the poet, "filled with the lie of immortal life." Death is ordinary. Pain "waits like a squatter" even as we take pleasure in "sun-seized walls" and a tomato vine's "yellow star-blossoms." It is a lament that rages against a past "woven with hemp and loss," where we took insufficient delight in the beauties of the world and took for granted the joys that life conferred upon us. The beauty andprecision of the language in these poems—and the universality of thetruth contained in them—raise this book from the depths of sorrow to an appreciation of the wonder of a life that contains pain but is also "the watery songs hiding in orioles' breasts."

—Ruth Bavetta, author of Flour, Water, Salt

Lost Sherpa of Happiness
Kelsay Books

Thoreau once wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” and Bono admitted, in his musical way, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”  Ken Craft’s second collection of poems, a riff on these ideas, is all about the pursuit of happiness — not just in the human sphere but, as will be seen in the second of three sections, in the animal world. Is happiness a “natural right of man”? Does it become increasingly difficult to achieve as we age? These poems try a few answers on for size, but ultimately circle back to the questions that keep life interesting.

 

Ken Craft is a master of metaphor—spade-cast skies, open-windowed life, window screens whispering their meshed tongues, Swiss cheese’s negative space—with the originality of a bracing tonic that affords a worldly perspective that is engagingly transparent. Reminiscent of the best work of Thoreau, James Wright or Wendell Berry, Craft’s poems astutely sum up situations ranging from dying frogs to the way a Maine lake can be viewed by changing positions. A marriage of nature and philosophy, they are a delight to the imagination and the intellect.

- Joan Colby, author of Kithara Prize-winner, Ribcage

The Indifferent World
FutureCycle Press

A childhood home haunted by the past, a farm-animal veterinarian’s bloody operations in the field, an unemployed cousin stranded by time and hope—Ken Craft explores the indifferent world in all its manifestations. He chronicles the stories of others who have faced indifference with grace, too—the bus driver reading Irish literature for night school, the old Mainer preparing his homestead for winter, even Leo Tolstoy’s last dash from death, which caught up with him at a train station in Astapova. In turns contemplative, humorous, and quixotic, this debut collection is a quiet celebration of everyday life in our preoccupied world. 

A childhood home haunted by the past, a farm-animal veterinarian’s bloody operations in the field, an unemployed cousin stranded by time and hope—Ken Craft explores the indifferent world in all its manifestations. He chronicles the stories of others who have faced indifference with grace, too—the bus driver reading Irish literature for night school, the old Mainer preparing his homestead for winter, even Leo Tolstoy’s last dash from death, which caught up with him at a train station in Astapova. In turns contemplative, humorous, and quixotic, this debut collection is a quiet celebration of everyday life in our preoccupied world. 

- Paul Hostovsky, author of The Bad Guys and Selected Poems