Monday, September 22, 2014

My Grandmother Smokes Chesterfields by Sharon Waller Knutson

The chapbook My Grandmother Smokes Chesterfields is a raw and honest collection of poems that tells the story of a strong independent woman raised in the forties and fifties in a small town in Montana until her fictionalized death in the last two poems. The poems, mostly biographical and some fiction, explore relationships that shape who we are today and the heartbreaks and strengths of dealing with life, alcoholism, aging, illness and death, including our own.


Exploring the vicissitudes of life with Knutson is like opening a grandparent’s photo album and seeing the characters resurrect before your eyes.  Through well-crafted poetry, shadow boxes of vivid mementos open, showing not only a Grandmother who Smokes Chesterfields, but of caregivers, cowboys, mothers, absentee sons, and survivors. Each poem and person has their own peculiar character, charm, resilience, and eccentricity, much like our own family members.

-- Janet Wilcox, retired Managing Editor Blue Mountain Shadows

Sharon Waller Knutson’s poetry takes a clear-eyed look at the knocks of life, from the bullies of youth to the incomprehension and denial of an old wife as her husband of many decades sinks into death. These are visual poems that explore the lives of three generations of strong women and the relationships and heartbreaks that shape and strengthen them.
-- Jerry Jay Carroll, author of The Great Liars and Top Dog
WOW! My Grandmother Smokes Chesterfields is beautifully written. Every poem tells a story, hits on all five senses, explores deep emotion, is very true to life and is so visual. I was so immersed in the characters I couldn’t put the book down.

-- Sandy Boikian, author of Leaving Limbo

About the Author:
Sharon Waller Knutson is a retired journalist who lives in Arizona where she writes poetry, hikes and takes photographs of wildlife out of her picture window in her earth home, built by her musician husband. Her chapbook, Dancing with a Scorpion, was published by Moon Journal Press in 2006. Her work has also appeared in Orange Room Review and Literary Mama.

45 pages, 29 poems

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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