Dark Side Of North by Anthony S. Abbott
"Dark Side of North offers us the tenderness of love, the heart's protest of grief, and the power of reimagining silence as a new song. Only the poet understands that we are servants of thought and our words are the only lamp we will ever need for nights that bring unapologetic truth, scars, and the solid ground for abiding grace. This beautiful new collection of poems by Anthony S. Abbott provides the reader a rich invitation to witness the wild man threading his truths through the eye of the sharpest needle."
—Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate (2018-Present)
"Dark Side of North breaks your heart and then stitches it back together again-seamlessly. The poems provide a rare peephole into the heart-space of a man who traverses the terrain of the third stage of life, and now courageously stands on the threshold of death's cabin in the woods. Thanks to Abbott's brilliance, readers of this book will rediscover how to 'receive each morning as a wrapped gift,' and find themselves pointed once again toward their true north."
—Dr. Jacqueline Bussie
Anthony (Tony) S. Abbott (1935-2020) was recipient of the 2015 NC Award for Literature from the State of North Carolina, and is the author of eight books of poetry, two novels, and four books of literary criticism. His book of poems, The Angel Dialogues (Lorimer Press, 2014), was the recipient of honorable mention in the 2015 Brockman-Campbell competition of the North Carolina Poetry Society, and his 2011 book of poems, If Words Could Save Us, was the co-winner in that same competition in 2012. His acclaimed first novel, Leaving Maggie Hope, won the Novello Award in 2003 and was published by Novello Press.
Tony was born in San Francisco and educated at the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and Kent School in Kent, Connecticut, he received his AB from Princeton University, magna cum laude, in 1957. With the support of a Danforth Fellowship he received his AM from Harvard University in 1960 and his PhD in 1962. An instructor in English at Bates College for three years beginning in 1961, he joined the English Department at North Carolina's Davidson College in 1964. He became Full Professor in 1979 and was named Charles A. Dana Professor of English in 1990. He served as the Chair of the Department from 1989 to 1996. Modern Drama, creative writing, and literature and religion his major fields of interest, he is the author of two critical studies, Shaw and Christianity and The Vital Lie: Reality and Illusion in Modern Drama.
His first volume of poems, The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat, was published by St. Andrews Press in 1989 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His second poetry collection, A Small Thing Like a Breath, was published by St. Andrews Press in 1993, and his third, The Search for Wonder in the Cradle of the World in 2000. A fourth collection, The Man Who, received the Oscar Arnold Young Award and was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in 2005. His 2003 novel, Leaving Maggie Hope, was followed by its sequel, The Three Great Secret Things, published in 2007 by Main Street Rag Publishing Company. He returned to poetry in 2009 with his New and Selected Poems, published by Lorimer Press, which also published his next two poetry collections, If Words Could Save Us and The Angel Dialogues.
In addition to his teaching, for which Davidson College honored him in 1969 with the Thomas Jefferson Award and in 1997 with the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award, Tony also served as President of the Charlotte Writers Club, the North Carolina Writers' Network, and the North Carolina Poetry Society. Tony died in hospice surrounded by his family on October 3, 2020, one week before his induction into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Dark Side of North is his last collection of poems, published by Press 53 on January 7, 2021: Tony's birthday.