The Sound of Falling

The Sound of Falling

Poems by Vernon Fowlkes, Jr.

ISBN: 978-0-942544-84-8




South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth says of this collection: “A testament to a life well-lived, The Sound of Falling is a wise and beautiful collection of poetry. Sweeping through the losses and celebrations of one family’s history in ways that are quintessentially Southern, Vernon Fowlkes Jr.’s poems are rooted in his home place of Mobile, Alabama. The Sound of Falling beautifully articulates the journey of one man’s heart, beginning with the loss of the poet’s father and travelling through family history, marriage, raising a family and becoming a grandparent. The poems are brimming with images and sounds of the sea and the rain, as if the words were washed up on shore or found one morning after a storm.”

With lyric imagery and voice, The Sound of Falling weaves a tapestry of memory and love, family and loss, grief and redemption, concluding, at last, that

…like time, love
burns as if a fire
that, no matter how
warm, is never long enough.

Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Transfer (BOA Editions, 2011), and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, says these poems “shine with presence and tender care” and further, that this poet's eye is "widely tuned and closely focused at once, inviting us into deeper, kinder living. He reminds us why we are here.”

“Nothing is quite what it seems— hold on tight— for a big wind is stirring,” writes Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emerita Lisa Starr. “These poems are charged with the power of a breeze that’s been waiting quietly, gaining force and momentum and timing. The wind that stirs these pages blows with a quiet ferocity that is the hallmark of this amazing poet. Stand warned, friends, and hold on tight.”

And finally, Coleman Barks, author of Hummingbird Sleep (University of Georgia Press, 2013) and The Essential Rumi (HarperCollins), tells us The Sound of Falling is not for the fainthearted: "There is a true grief being lived through in this book. All the unspoken words and something no one can say, something you want but cannot have. A listening begins to happen and a profound waiting. There is a lot of courage in these poems."

Vernon Fowlkes, Jr. lives in Mobile, Alabama with his wife of 40+ years, Mary. His poems have appeared in various magazines and literary journals across the country, among them The Southern Review, Elk River Review, The Texas Observer, Willow Springs, JAMA, and Birmingham Arts Journal. To book Vernon for readings and book signings, contact him at bookings AT vernonfowlkes DOT net.

The Sound of Falling can be purchased online through or directly through this website.


Copyright 2015 Vernon Fowlkes, Jr. All Rights Reserved.