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Eric Scott Sutherland

pendulum is the latest poetry book by Kentucky poet and literary activist Eric Scott Sutherland. Inspired by real-life events and people, the characters in this book in turn inspire us to develop more compassion and awareness for each other.

What Others Say About pendulum

Like the pendulum at the Lexington Public Library that demonstrates the rotation of the earth, these poems, written by Eric Sutherland in the guise of "Gatekeeper," measure and interpret lives in rotation, many of them "bruised souls" with whom he comes in contact, writing poems that explore conscience and the mechanics of the spirit. The trajectory of the pendulum knocks down pins as the earth rotates. The poet, imagining each life as a pin, is there to pick them up, in the process elevating all of us.

—Richard Taylor

In the tradition of our most celebrated of epics, Eric Scott Sutherland's pendulum mutates a downtown library into a kind of underworld abyss seething with the refuse of humanity. Sutherland's Gatekeeper serves as witness, referee, and reluctant participant, and marks time by an immense pendulum swinging from the ceiling of the five-story rotunda. His deft portraits of library patrons compel us to join him until we too feel too close for our own sanity. With our noses already pressed against the glass of voyeurism, Sutherland beckons us closer still into this world until we find we are unable to look away or resist the notion that we too, belong.

—Bianca Spriggs

The poems in this humane collection are hard and beautiful. They are hard, because the locals here are marginalized and somewhat lost, yet beautiful because they live with hope, and because each poem in this heartfelt book is accompanied by singing. Behind this cast of characters is the poet himself, a living spirit, capturing the human voice, swinging back and forth like the symbol evoked by the title of this honest and necessary collection. This is at once a portrait and a vision rendered into lines, notation for a place and time and the saintly people there. It is a gift to be in such able hands, and a further gift to turn the pages of their labor. Three cheers for this delight!

—Maurice Manning



is always a dirty
paw away.
a hand not washed
in who knows how long.
a hand stained by soil
and cigarette resin, the filth
permanent under fingernails.
a hand sprouting long claws
the color of skin, camouflaged,
each one a hook, a tool to dig.
a hand counting out
eighty pennies for a soda.

Details and Ordering

Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Format: Softcover, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-936628-25-4
Price: $12.00

About the Author

Eric Scott Sutherland is a hawk watcher, Kentucky creek walker, tree loving Lorax, community and event organizer, the author of two chapbooks and the full-length collection incommunicado (2007). pendulum is his fourth book of poems. He is the creator and host of Holler Poets Series, a monthly celebration of literature and music since 2008. Eric makes his nest in Lexington. Follow Eric and Holler at www.ericscottsutherland.com.

Copyright © Accents Publishing 2014