While Ted Kooser and Jim Harrison were an unlikely pair to become friends, they shared an intimate correspondence of handwritten letters that often included new poems. After Kooser was diagnosed with cancer, Harrison sensed his friend’s poetry becoming “overwhelmingly vivid,” and their friendship deepened through the exchange of brief poems that captured “the essence of what [they] wanted to say to each other.” After hundreds of poems were sent back and forth through the mail, they found this volume hidden within the stacks of envelopes and postcards.
In her loving Foreword to this expanded anniversary edition, Naomi Shihab Nye writes “Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry is one of the dearest, most appealing books ever published. These poems are tiny delicious American haiku affectionately exchanged between two friends… This slim volume acts as a palate-cleanser, a spirit-booster, a little rocket-ship of wonders.”
Wise, wry, and penetrating, these epigrammatic, aphoristic poems explore love and friendship, pausing to celebrate the natural world, aging, everyday things and scenes, and poetry itself. This expanded edition includes a dozen new poems, and when asked why none of the poems have attributions, one of the co-authors replied, “This book is an assertion in favor of poetry and against credentials.”