Anthony S. Abbott was born in San Francisco and educated at Fay School in Massachusetts and the Kent School in Connecticut. He received his A.B. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is Professor Emeritus of English at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, where he served as Department Chair from 1989 to 1996. His first novel, Leaving Maggie Hope was published in 2003 and received the Novello Literary Award and ForeWord Magazine’s Gold Award for literary fiction. It’s sequel, The Three Great Secret Things, was published in 2007. He is the author of five books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize nominated The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat. His most recent book New & Selected; Poems 1989 – 2009 was published in 2009 by Lorimer Press.
Tony is past President of the Charlotte Writers’ Club and the North Carolina Writers Network, and a past Chairman of the North Carolina Writers Conference. He currently serves as President of the North Carolina Poetry Society. He has been honored by St. Andrews College with the Sam Ragan Award for his writing and service to the literary community of North Carolina. In 2008, he was the North Carolina Writers Conference honoree, and received the Irene Blair Honeycutt Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts.
BLOOD RED OF LATE OCTOBER
Blood red of late October in the South,
and from the cemetery to the college campus
on the hill, the leaves bathe my eyes.
I turn each corner into dazzling surprise.
In my mind’s eye, she walks toward me.
I show her my favorite tree. I pluck three
leaves and watch as she carries
them away. This is new found grace,
and in the space where sadness once lay
the small white flower of hope grows.
In the South, October lingers, the gold
sun glances off the trees. November will
come with its cold rain soon enough,
I know. I turn the dazzle inward
and down. It courses through the veins
and lofts me toward the breathless light.