Friday, July 04, 2008

POD Used as a Community Project

We've been working on the Gems of Yesterday: Poetry and Philosophy of Bee Lewis for a year and a half. It took decades to discover the manuscripts, which finally came to us during a reading Daddy (Erwin A. Thompson) gave of his novel The Second Mile when a Lewis family member said she knew where they were. Afterwards, the family brought out two big boxes of manuscripts that Daddy spent the winter selecting and typing. He handed the manuscript over to me and I spent a year on production.

Each of the 274 poems in Gems of Yesterday: The poetry and Philosophy of Bee Lewis has been a labor of love for editor and long-time friend, Erwin A. Thompson as a tribute to Bee Lewis—a man he thought of as a kindred spirit and mentor. The poems span a period of close to four decades and cover a rare glimpse of a bygone era. The subject matter ranges from the personal to the philosophical, from dialect to description.

We'll be on the radio in July, and on the program at the Godfrey Congregational Church where we’ll be reading poems, telling stories, and playing music. All the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the church where Amelia Lewis, Bee's wife, was so active. It's a good example of POD used as a community project—one in which it's “all about the love, not the numbers” (my slogan). This has been a long-standing dream of the Lewis family to see Bee's poems in print and there's quite a buzz building in Godfrey as I hear. It's incredibly gratifying to see how happy the book is making everyone. That's been my goal: that the books I've been producing will be a source of happiness for us and everyone else.

Available on Amazon at or can be purchased directly from Janet Riehl. All proceeds donated directly to the Godfrey Congregational Church.

1 comment:

Janet Grace Riehl said...

Yvonne, what a nice surprise to find this here. Thanks for featuring our project on your blog. I'll link to it from Riehlife.

We'll be having 5 readers for Bee's poetry, songs, music, and stories on our community program and it will be taped, fortunately.

Janet Riehl