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- Category: Book Buzz
Killing Time by Jonathan K. Rice
Main Street Rag
Available for pre-order from the publisher
"Time is, indeed, the unifying metaphor in Jonathan Rice’s delightful collection Killing Time. But Rice, himself, is not just killing time—he is shining a light of gratitude on every ostensibly minute thing within the range of his witness. Rice gives us a new way of thinking of pennies in a urinal, the rattle of filament in a burnt-out light bulb, the grace of thirty-dollar co-pays, a broken bottle of cabernet sauvignon, slugs and heat lightning and cardboard drums. Each is a small blessing this poet gives thanks for, then, in language that sings, passes on to his fortunate readers."
—Cathy Smith Bowers, former North Carolina Poet Laureate (2010-2012) and author of Like Shining from Shook Foil and The Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers
"Jonathan Rice’s poems, in his new volume, Killing Time, quietly, almost imperceptibly, compile a litany of the world, in all its incarnations, coming to life before our very eyes. These fine poems laser in on the daily offices of those we habitually pass on the street without noticing. Rice, however, is attuned to the nuance of every moment in which he finds himself inevitably immersed. 'Every night / the same lamp / disappears / in the dark,' laments the speaker in 'Solipsist Meltdown.' Yet, come morning—through the work these poems do to keep us all breathing and burnished—the light appears anew. I love the humanity of these poems, their contemplative reverence for the least of them—in all their misunderstood turmoil and twisted glory."
—Joseph Bathanti, former North Carolina Poet Laureate (2012-2014) and author of Half of What I Say Is Meaningless and The Life of the World to Come: A Novel
"Despite what the title of Jonathan K. Rice’s new book of poems might suggest, you will not be 'Killing Time' when you read these pages. Rather, you will be taken into a world of seemingly ordinary objects, events, and people rendered extraordinary through the poet’s sharp, unstinting vision. With Rice’s wry voice to guide you, you’ll enter auto shops, topless bars, tattoo parlors, cafes, and pawn shops, even a men’s restroom where three Lincoln pennies, trapped in a urinal, offer up imaginative possibilities. There are love poems here, too, poems of longing and desire and loss, and portraits of men and women who wish only to stop time, a wish this poet grants, page after page, for his lucky readers."
—Rebecca McClanahan, author of Deep Light: New and Selected Poems and Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively
Jonathan K. Rice earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and did graduate work at Erskine Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Charlotte. He is founding editor and publisher of Iodine Poetry Journal. He is the author of a chapbook, Shooting Pool With A Cellist (Main Street Rag, 2003) and a full-length collection, Ukulele and Other Poems (Main Street Rag, 2006). His poetry has appeared in many publications and he has been a longtime host of poetry readings in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lives with his family. In 2012 he received the Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award for outstanding service in support of local and regional writers, awarded by Central Piedmont Community College. He is also a visual artist. His work has been featured as cover art on books and has appeared in the online magazines The Pedestal, Referential Magazine, Red Headed Stepchild, Levure Litteraire, The Inflectionist Review, and Empty Mirror. He was also a featured artist in Apogee Magazine, the literary arts magazine of High Point University.