Madison poet Ron Wallace has published a new collection, For a Limited Time Only (University of Pittsburgh Press). Although recurring topics in the volume are aging, illness, pain and mortality, the wonder of words is never absent from the poems, which are set in locales as far-flung as Australia and as close to home as a ditch in southern Wisconsin.
Wallace talks with me via cell phone as he prepares to hike near Jackson Lake in the Grand Tetons: "My editor at Pittsburgh said it was the most depressing manuscript he'd read in a long time." He took that to heart, deciding to end the volume with new, more celebratory poems. He also moved away from some of the traditional verse forms he's used in the past. However, there are two pantoums (an intricate form where the second and fourth lines reappear as the third and first lines in the next stanza) in Limited Time.
And if you want to know what a paradelle is, see Wallace at the Wisconsin Book Festival Oct. 18.