Selected Poems from the Middle Years (2000-2016) by David Rathbun and Michael Stone
(from “To Grieve” by David Rathbun)
Amazon (paperback): https://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Friendship-Selected-Poetry-Middle/dp/1720321337/ ($24.95)
An Extraordinary Friendship is a selection of the very best poems of David Rathbun and Mike Stone, covering the middle years of their lives from 2000 to 2016. The book is a celebration of the enduring friendship of two very different but somehow kindred souls and the rich poetic dialogue that ensued from it. Both Dave and Mike have been writing poetry ever since high school. The middle years comprise the most mature and confident poetry that both have written. Dave’s poems, especially, are exquisitely rich, vibrant, and full of life and love. The early years comprise the greatest struggle to find a sustainable poetic voice. Many of the poems might interest different readers but others might not. Some pointed the way to the middle years, but others were less coherent in their direction. For Mike, the later years are pretty much a continuation of the middle years but for Dave, the later years mark the brain surgery, subsequent radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and the devasting impact they had on his ability to continue writing. The poems of his later years are mostly unintelligible but are clearly filled with frustration and bitterness.
An Extraordinary Friendship represents Dave’s first book of poetry and Mike’s fourth. They both contributed 150 of their best poems, together 300 poems spanning 400 pages. We offer readers a smörgåsbord of some of the finest poetry they are likely to come across.