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Letters to Karen Carpenter and Other Poems

Letters to Karen Carpenter and Other Poems

By Richard Allen TaylorPublisher: Main Street Mag Publishing CompanyISBN: 978-1-59948-965-0Genre: PoetryPrice: $9.50++ pre-order, $16.00++ list price, paperback
Available from: Main Street Rag

Poems range from the life, career, and death of Karen Carpenter to loss of spouse, grief, recovery, art, humor, and new beginnings.

Richard Allen Taylor is the author of four poetry collections including Letters to Karen Carpenter and Other Poems, scheduled for release in Fall 2023 from Main Street Rag Publishing Company. His poems, articles and reviews have appeared in Rattle, Comstock Review, The Pedestal, Litmosphere, Gyroscope Review and South Carolina Review, among others. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Taylor formerly served as review editor for The Main Street Rag and co-editor of Kakalak. After retiring from his business career, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. He currently resides in Myrtle Beach, SC.


If I wanted to invent something, but I knew only that I wanted my invention to be dazzling from every angle, I would call on Richard Allen Taylor, whose poems in “Letters to Karen Carpenter,” are each small miracles of construction. Draw near them, and you will hear the poet’s brain sawing through the trivial to reach the essential. Come closer. Now feel the thrum of an out-sized heart that has known pain and grief, tenderness and joy. Letters to Karen Carpenter simply takes my breath.

~Dannye Romine Powell, author of In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver

Richard Allen Taylor is “part of the holy jangle of things / fastened to the belt loop of a forgetful world.” His new book speaks to grief and healing with the whispered voice of his late wife, Julie – “a mellow bell rings in the canyon. / And the canyon is me.” – and weaves from the humbly wonderful things of Richard’s world life-giving joy. And some good jokes. At the end is not sadness but wonder, and friendship.

~Bill Griffin, How We All Fly, The Orchard Street Press (2023)

Remarkable book! Traversing the music of his universe while navigating the complexities of love, loss, aging and dying, Richard Allen Taylor masterfully delivers poems that had me laughing out loud at times—poems created not as comic relief from sorrow, but as natural reflections on life, myth and art. Photographically in words, among his poignant images Taylor captures the ravages of chemo, a husband weeping in his deceased wife’s closet, a searcher finding light in darkness: “As stars grow old, most still burn with dying/light….”

~Irene Blair Honeycutt, author of Beneath the Bamboo Sky