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Stage Whispers

Stage Whispers, by Roy J. Beckemeyer
2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award Winner


Meadowlark- September 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1732241039
ISBN-10: 1732241031
BISAC: Literature & Fiction; Regional Poetry


“In precise language and varied forms, Roy Beckemeyer’s third book of poetry, Stage Whispers, welcomes readers into thoughtful narrative observations that are personal and political, serious and light-hearted. Like the multitude of grasses on the Kansas prairie, these handsomely crafted poems are grounded in nature’s deep richness and beauty yet contemplate Christianity, science, and humanity, dragonflies, stars, morels, red-tailed hawks, the snows of Badakhshan, sandhill cranes, and great blue herons, all balanced against God riding by on his bicycle. Dense with images, intimate and honest, the book urges in brilliant whispers for readers to embrace life, to ‘Inhale deeply. / Breathe.’”

—Kathryn Kysar, author of Dark Lake and Pretend the World

“Roy Beckemeyer’s new book of poems, Stage Whispers, speaks from on, off, below, and above the stage of life . . . showing us how to hear what we have to say to the world, and what the world is saying to us. From the first poem, beginning with the lines, ‘When the wind sends your words back/ into your throat as you speak them,’ Beckemeyer once again shows us the essential nature of listening closely to the music and quiet of everyday rhythms, yearnings, connections, losses, and motions. He writes with originality and precision about the natural world, growing up in the Midwest, old friends and old places that shaped lives, and even the workings of our minds, telling us in ‘Electrifying Thoughts’ that if we could see our own neurons in action, ‘We’d be meteor showers. We’d/ be each other’s very own auroras.’ But the most powerful cord that threads through this book is love: love for being alive to witness the tilting of seasons and weather, both external and internal, as well as love for the moments and humans that illuminate our days. As he writes in ‘Above the Rocky Run,’ ‘The whole world could rush by in flood stage / and whirlpools and every bit of it / would be immaterial with you in sight, / this close to hand.’ Speaking of which, keep this book close at hand to better see what and who is coming onto the stage of your life.”

—Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, and author of Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous

“In this new volume of work by a treasured Kansas poet, Roy Beckemeyer takes the reader to historic rural settings, the nature of farm and prairie. These poems are lean yet muscled with the intense track of a quail hunt, the rise and rustle of prey, the sudden fall to ground . . . I applaud Stage Whispers as an artistic voice that calls us all to savor this collection from a skilled craftsman of modern verse.”

—Gary Lechliter, author of Off the Beaten Path

“Roy Beckemeyer’s Stage Whispers invites us to see the lively currents that underpin our world. His wide-ranging eye examines everything from the microscopic to the cosmic and reports back to us a universe filled with brightness and worthy of our close attention”
—Skyler Lovelace, poet and artist, Professor of Digital Media
   and owner of Pixel Time

 “Like his 2015 Kansas Notable Book Music I Once Could Dance To, Roy Beckemeyer’s third book of poetry, Stage Whispers, sings. . . . Stage Whispers’ melody follows nature’s beauty, from forests to insects, weather to birds— ‘You know you have perfect pitch / when you can transcribe / the brown thrasher’s morning song.’ It contains the murmur of bees who turn the golden light of summer into honey and trees that ‘toss leaves into the sky.’ ‘When Is It Summer in Kansas?’ Beckemeyer asks, ‘. . . when storm clouds say with lightning what they refuse to speak with rain’ These are poems that offer a new pitch on viewpoints that limit, ‘the storm fronts that we invent and then must learn to weather’ . . . To hear how a poet like Roy Beckemeyer heals unexpected wounds with unexpected beauty, listen to Stage Whispers.”

—Laura Madeline Wiseman, author of
    Through a Certain Forest

"To me, the cadences and rhythms of poetry, the lilt and melody of the language are what make it come alive" -- Roy J. Beckemeyer 

April 23, 2019
Roy Beckemeyer was interviewed on Positively Kansas (episode 505), interview begins at 20:16.

March 19, 2019
Featured Author, Roy BeckemeyerWritten in Kansas, by Cheryl Unruh

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