One Small Place in a Tree
Publication Date: March 2004
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Deep in the forest . . .
A bear sharpens her claws on a tree trunk. The scratched bark chips; a tiny hole forms. Timber beetles tunnel inside. The hole grows bigger and bigger.
In lyrical prose, Barbara Brenner reveals the fascinating happenings in one small place. She explains how, over many years, the rough hole transforms into a cozy hollow -- home to salamanders, tree frogs, a family of white-footed mice. Tom Leonard's absorbing illustrations take you beneath the bark to a hidden world. His warm, lifelike depictions of squirrels and bluebirds, snakes and spiders show the splendor that dwells in the most unexpected places.
So stop. Observe. Explore your natural world. If you look closely enough, you will surely find . . . one small place that is home for something.
Tom Leonard was born in 1944 in Glasgow. Besides his collections of poetry for the page he has performed sound poetry in festivals in Britain and abroad. He has also written critical essays, political satire, a biography of James Thomson (1834-82), and compiled the anthology of forgotten West of Scotland nineteenth century poetry Radical Renfrew. One of Leonard's abiding concerns has been the political, hierarchical nature of language in Britain and his poetry is famous for its representation of Glaswegian working-class speech. He has been writer-in-residence at Glasgow and Strathclyde universities and Bell College of Technology. His collection Intimate Voices: Writing 1965-1983 shared the Scottish Book of the Year Award in 1984, but was at the same time banned from Scottish Central Region school libraries. It has recently been reprinted by Etruscan. In 1991 he published an analysis of the Gulf War along with a series of satirical monologues, On the Mass Bombing of Iraq and Kuwait, commonly known as The Gulf War, with Leonard's Shorter Catechism. A CD of Leonard reading his poetry, nora's place, was released by AK Press in 1996. Leonard presently teaches Creative Writing part-time at Glasgow University.