Barre poet Rose Lee Craige has released her fifth book in just four years and by all accounts it is doing quite well.
Of Death, Dreams, & Strawberries, a collection of 79 poems and prose, is “a must read for fans, new and old, of poetry from the heart, mind and gut.”
As she also describes herself on the delicious cover, Craige “is a Vermont poet, part time dreamer and friend of all small beings.” Her other works include: Before Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Wildflowers On The Table, and Of Drowning and Other Beautiful Things.
But what makes this latest book, all self-produced, such a breakout endeavor is the amazing flow of energy and hues of color that come off each page, seemingly effortless and indifferent to subject length.
“I love to explore lengths and I don’t like things that restrict,” says the 27-year-old Craige, adding, “Not all lines rhyme (that can be a tool for a poet) and I try to put as much positivity and creativity into my work—often with some dry humor.”
Craige says an example of the last statement is her piece on a Ferris wheel that hates its job.
She credits her passion for poetry to very supportive parents—Cathy and Sandy Craige—and a “wonderful” teacher at Spaulding High School named Stephanie Crevadi, who formed a poetry club. “She really challenged us,” Craige said.
Craige notes that she has traveled around some (even at her young age) but always comes back to Vermont.
“And Barre, surprisingly, is very receptive to poetry. I love the poetry slams at the Aldrich Library,” she said.
She works days at Bob’s Camera & Video Shop and loves, when possible, to stay up late writing.
Craige has completed Community College of Vermont and attended Laselle College and will be attending the University of Southern New Hampshire in October—to better her professional writing skills and earn a bachelor’s degree.
Right now though, Craige seems to be making all the right moves. She takes advantage of “open mic” nights at Sweet Melissa’s in Montpelier to read her works and also sells books available for $15.95 at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier and Next Chapter Bookstore in Barre. She is also on Amazon Kindle.
All the artwork on her five books shows more of her artistic skills as well.
Following the five books, you can see how her perspective on life has changed in just four years.
“They are a documentation of many stages in my life,” Craige said. “My first book was built on sticky notes.”
Also, her first three books were outed with her married name—R. Lee Douquette—and now no longer married she has returned for these last two books to her maiden name.
What’s next for this prolific young talent? Maybe a professional writer, or a ghost writer, or a technical writer?
“One thing I know is that I’m always working on my next book,” she said.