Poet to read from new bookJuly 22, 2019
Jasper native and former Indiana poet laureate Norbert Krapf returns to the Dubois County Museum at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, for the first reading of his new book of poems, “Indiana Hill Country Poems.” A reception will follow. Krapf’s books will be available for signing.
Former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf returns to the landscape of his southern Indiana childhood with memories of loss. While facing the death of his second sister from leukemia, he visits the small tomb of his stillborn sister, remembers abuse by his pastor and laments a brother’s disappearance from the family.
Being back in Indiana hill country, however, he relives his parents’ love of their native place. He reconnects with his German heritage, sites in his ancestral Franconia (northern Bavaria), and the spiritual woods and fields of the Indiana hill country he once roamed.
In his hometown to read poems with his Franconian dialect poet friend Helmut, he is moved to hear him read poems in the dialect his parents spoke to one another. Sitting with his Colombian-German-American grandson, age 4, at his side savoring the German woods “like a little Buddha,” he sings a new hymn of praise, “Morning Sylvan Symphony.”
“Indiana Hill Country Poems” is Krapf’s first collection since the retrospective “Bloodroot: Indiana Poems” (2008) set almost completely in his native state, except for a few returns in memory to sites in his ancestral Franconia. He has steadily continued to write “Indiana poems” since Bloodroot, but also poems and a prose memoir, “Shrinking the Monster,” about suffering and recovering from child abuse; an adaptation of his “Catholic Boy Blues” collection into a play produced through IndyFringe; a collection of poems about his Colombian-German-American grandson Peyton, “The Return of Sunshine”; and a long prose memoir about the 50 years of his writing life, “Homecomings,” to appear in 2021. Another issue was finding a publisher willing to take on a collection of poems like “Indiana Hill Country Poems.” Dos Madres Press answered the call.
The museum, at 2704 N. Newton St., is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays. For more information, call 634-7733 or visit www.duboiscountymuseum.org. The museum is also on Facebook and Twitter.
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