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Book cover

Work of Art

Dr. Kenneth Pobo, professor of English and creative writing at Widener University, has released a new chapbook of poetry titled “When the Light Turns Green,” through Spruce Alley Press, a new publishing company started by James Esch, an English and creative writing lecturer at Widener.

“When the Light Turns Green” is a 32-poem chapbook by Pobo that explores a range of topics including aging, memory, the passing of time, and loss. The poems also feature imagery from the garden, a common thread in much of the work of Pobo, an avid gardener. Pobo’s poetry in “When the Light Turns Green” is complemented by full-color digital artwork by Stacy Esch, wife of James Esch.

The process “felt almost family-like that way, that there was this connection between publisher, between poet, and between artist,” Pobo said.

Pobo’s book is the first published by Spruce Alley, which Esch started in the winter of 2013 from his home in West Chester, Pa. He plans to begin by developing projects with writers and artists with whom he has longstanding ties and offer independent voices the chance to be seen, heard, and widely read. Currently, he is focused on promoting Pobo’s “When the Light Turns Green,” which is receiving positive reviews from the literary world.

Such a project can prove to be a lesson for Widener students as well.

“I think it’s good, particularly for creative writing students, to know that people in the faculty aren’t just talking about writing, but are actively doing it,” Pobo said. “But not just like ‘Oh, here’s this book, isn’t that great?’ But, ‘How do books happen? How do books come about?’ ”

Pobo, a resident of Media, Pa., will release a full-length collection of poetry later this year titled “Bend of Quiet” with Blue Light Press. Throughout his career, he has published more than 25 books of poetry and short fiction in addition to countless poems and flash fiction pieces in literary journals and magazines.

He is the winner of the 2009 Main Street Rag Poetry Chapbook Contest, the 2011 Qarrtsiluni Poetry Chapbook Contest, and the 2013 Eastern Point Press Chapbook Award.