Southwestern Assemblies of God University professor Amy George has just completed her newest book, “The Stopping Places.”
“The Stopping Places” is a collection of poems by George and focuses on the journey of life and different seasons of life. The collection is divided into four sections or four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The passage of time in one’s life is reflected in these different seasons.
"The Stopping Places" will be released on March 16 but is now available for pre-order.
“It's, to me, representative of a span of my work, as it includes new poems and some from my early writing career,” George said.
George began putting together “The Stopping Places” last year. George says that there were a couple different inspirations for the theme and development of this book. For one, traveling has always been one of her passions. As she has pursued her doctoral degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she has had the opportunity to travel to and from the university stopping at numerous locations. “The ideas of travel, transition, rest and experience flow throughout my work in general,” George said.
In addition to travel, a recent church sermon influenced her decision to focus on different seasons or stages of life in her work.
“I remembered a sermon I heard years ago where the speaker talked about measuring the length of a life in the dash on a tombstone between the date of birth and the date of death, so that led to the title poem,” she added.
Some poems are reprinted with permission from other publishers and a number of poems are from George’s first book, “The Fragrance of Memory,” originally published by Amsterdam Press. The owner of Amsterdam Press, Cathy Jean Kelly, passed away. As a result, “The Stopping Places” is partially dedicated to her.
One of George’s favorite poems found in “The Stopping Places” is “Ideogram.”
“I had fun playing the notion of written language, ideograms, symbols and the movement of calligraphy,” she explained. “Asian languages and cultures are rich with symbolism and images, so I tried to capture that in my poem. Also, I was honored to have it originally published by Kyoto journal, an international journal based in Kyoto, Japan.”
For George, her love of poetry began when she was just thirteen-years-old. She made some attempts as an amateur but it was not until her time in college when she began to take poetry seriously. “Actually, it was taking Diane Lewis’s Creative Writing class here at SAGU that inspired me to pursue and attain my M.F.A. in Creative Writing; poetry was my specialization.“ Her first book, “The Fragrance of Memory” was taken from her Master’s thesis.
“The Stopping Places” is George’s third book and definitely not her last. She plans to continue her work in poetry after she completes her dissertation.
“I’ve been blessed to have been involved in the writing and publishing of poetry for the last ten years, as a writer, editor and publisher and different times along the way," George said.
“[...] It’s also my second time to be accepted by and published by Finishing Line Press; to have them believe in me as a poet enough to invest in my work has been a great honor.”
To pre-order your copy of "The Stopping Places," visit https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/the-stopping-places-by-amy-l-george.