April is Poetry Month
Inside the Whale
Joseph G. Peterson
Inside the Whale is a novel that, in the spirit of Beowulf, imagines a bardic drone chanting the mnemonics of rhythm and rhyme to entertain, lyre in hand, a group of ruffians gathered around a keg of beer and the red-hot coals of a dying fire. It tells the timeless story of a self-destructive artist and the tragic consequences he incurs when he sins against his talent.
Joseph G. Peterson is the author of Beautiful Piece, a critically acclaimed novel. His new novel, Wanted: Elevator Man, was published by Switchgrass Books in Fall of 2012. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two children, where works for a Large academic publisher.
Inside the Whale is now available as an
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"Written entirely in verse, Peterson's second book (after Beautiful Piece) follows Irishman Jim O'Connor, an aspiring poet and successful alcoholic, as he moves disastrously through life in modern Chicago. In addition to Peterson's narrative, plenty of Jim's "actual" poems appear throughout, facilitating an effortless shifting between third and first person accounts of the drunken bard's exploits."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Man against insurmountable odds has been a classic tale for much of history. Inside the Whale is a novel in verse. Author Joseph G. Peterson has crafted an epic poem, tapping into the memories of times gone past, but being true to the modern era. Looking into the self-destructive nature of humanity and how our lives tear us all apart, Inside the Whale is a strong pick for lovers of poetry and fiction, seeking a modern story with a strong influence of the epics of the past."
--Midwest Book Review
“Joseph G. Peterson’s Inside the Whale is a part tall tale, part tragedy, part symbolist epic. His Jim O’Connor, the disastrous hero of this work, is a whorl of grief, reckless charm and surly poetic ambition. But as fascinating as it is to watch the antiheroic O’Connor churn through misadventures, oracular bursts of poetry and failed loves, perhaps Inside the Whale’s most moving passages are about Chicago, captured in Peterson’s beautiful coda to this boisterous yarn. From first word to last, this is a book infused with spirit, heart and awe.”
author of I Thought I was New Here
The Book of Raymond
Raymond Richard tells it like it is in poems that are electrifying, terrifying, and awe-inspiring. He has been to the big house, lived in poverty on the streets of Chicago, and took to crime and drugs to survive. He has put his life back together against almost insurmountable odds. He's back to tell his story in poems that are honest, heart-breaking, violent, and tender.
Raymond Richard lives in Chicago and he has devoted his life to helping men and women put their lives back together after incarceration. He has founded Returning Citizens, a nonprofit organization that empowers former prisoners through job training, literature, and the power of the spoken word.