Dive into “Frog Joy,” where Beth Gulley’s verses paint everyday magic. From mulberry-stained fingers to a heart-pounding escape from floods, hear the chorus of frog calls serenading life’s simple wonders.
Beth Gulley is a Kansas City based poet who has published two chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry: Since Corona Ruined Our Trip to the Library (Finishing Line Press), Little Fish: Tiny Meditations on Freedom (Flying Ketchup Press), Dragon Eggs (Spartan Press), The Sticky Note Alphabet (Alien Buddha Press), and Love of Ornamental Fish (Alien Buddha). She teaches English at Johnson County Community College. Beth serves on the Riverfront Reading Committee and the Writers Place board. She likes to volunteer, trail run, and drink coffee. More information can be found on her blog at https://timeeasesallthings.wordpress.com/.
Frog Joy is a collection of free verse and micro poems that point to the beauty in everyday moments. Beth Gulley is making her own world without a fence. Sometimes readers join her as she stains her fingers on low hanging mulberries. Other times the readers chase her along the trail and try to escape the rising flood waters. Underneath it all, a chorus of frog calls, like fingers running along the edge of a comb, echo in the damp night.
Few brief, gem-like poetic meditations shine like Beth’s. Part diary entry, part koan or prayer, these new poems sparkle with wit and wisdom. I treasure them. You will too.
—Kevin Rabas, Past Poet Laureate of Kansas (2017-2019), Improvise
Further Acclaim for “Frog Joy”:
Beth Gulley does it again with her latest collection, Frog Joy. Present is all of Gulley’s trademark wit, heart, and insight. She instantly grabs the reader in the first poem by comparing watching a televised fight to reading Basho. This works in the splendid and satisfying way that only Gulley could accomplish. The poet’s short, direct lines can be deceptive as Gulley is the master of making every word count. The poem “Prey” is a prime example. At only two stanzas and ten short lines, one could be led to believe there is little to glean from the piece, but it has proven to be one of the many poems in Frog Joy that warrants repeated readings. Gulley also leaves plenty of room for the nuances of long relationships. Multiple poems within these pages evoke the subtle emotions combined in love and loss as only one who has felt those experiences on the deepest level can. The book as a whole could be Beth Gulley’s most rounded and profound collection yet, and that is quite an accomplishment considering her impressive back catalog.
—James Benger, author of The Park
From her ability to say everything in four words on a post card, to read in the glow of Netflix, to have a normal Tuesday with a teddy bear, and to do absolutely nothing, Beth Gulley takes readers on a journey that, on its face, seems to be a trip through the mundane. In reality, readers are transported through observations of daily life into a world that could be theirs. With beautifully relatable simplicity, Frog Joy reminds us that we all travel this life together, just on parallel paths.
—Curtis Becker, author of My Second Act and Greetings from Topeka.
Cover Illustration by Jane Blakeley