By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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And it's been awhile since he's released a book of poetry. McNulty has been busy writing other books, including his Washington Governor's Award-winning book Olympic National Park: A Natural History.
This fall at last, McNulty's first poetry collection since 1992's In Blue Mountain Dusk has arrived in bookstores.
Ascendance, 114 pages of verse devoted to the things McNulty loves — from his newborn daughter to the dawn light over the Olympics — is out on Pleasure Boat Studio press.
McNulty, who lives on Lost Mountain south of Sequim, will give a reading at the Jefferson County Library, 620 Cedar Ave. in Port Hadlock, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Admission is free. Copies of Ascendance will be available for purchase and signing.
In these pages, McNulty takes the reader stargazing with his daughter, Caitlin; hiking up the Elwha River; and to many other places, from Laughingwater Creek to Mac's Auto Wrecking.
The poems are divided under headings such as “Reflected Light,” “Shooting Stars” and “Through High Still Air.”
McNulty relishes readings like the one set for Wednesday.
Music of language
“I pitch my poems for the ear,” he said. “The music of the language is of utmost importance to me.”
In Ascendance, “I wanted to arrange them in ways that suggest a story arc . . . [and] I hope there's a little bit of entertainment in there, as well as some heavy wading.”
McNulty has fans in the pantheon of poets.
This is “a wise, lively, lovely book,” Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Snyder writes on the back cover of Ascendance.
And Samuel Green, Washington state's first poet laureate, calls McNulty's poetry both funny and reverent.
“These are poems to keep close to hand and heart,” Green writes.
For more information about Wednesday's event and other activities at the Jefferson County Library, visit www.jclibrary.info or phone 360-385-6544.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.