“Wondrous. Like a street preacher – not the fake kind but the undeniably enlightened – his voice suddenly lays hold of you, and only eventually are you aware that you’ve stopped in your tracks. And inevitably the luster of his human insights follows you as you walk away. But this collection is something truly special, even for Ellefson. Only the bravest artists work so openly, and so triumphantly, with the obscure, the ineffable. “Such as I am,” one of his characters confesses, “I only felt strange,” and it’s as good a description as any for what will happen to you as you settle in with Foreign Tales of Exemplum. Set in locations across the globe, these poems are out to translate interactions that defy translation, even as the foreign landscapes themselves becomes eerily familiar. Here you’ll find the world entire – teeming humanity is all here, every one of us – but not for the peckish reader merely looking to snack. This is an honest-to-God feast, a groaning board. Come very hungry. Plan to stay very late.”
— Philip Baruth, author of The X President and The Brothers Boswell
“J.C. Ellefson is a genius troubadour of the expatriated soul. He's blowing a mythic alto sax of Whitman-like big love in these wildly entrancing poems.”
— Tom Paine, author of Scar Vegas and The Pearl Of Kuwait
About the Author
At one time or another, J.C. Ellefson has made his living as a hired hand, a blacksmith, and a fiddler in an old-timey band. He has taught at Shanghai International Studies University, the Universidade Dos Acores, and he has had poetry and some short fiction published in magazines throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and Japan. At this time, Jim teaches writing and literature at Champlain College, where he is the Poet-In-Residence—and chair of The Committee on Verbal Insurrection. Jim and his wife, Lesley Wright, direct the Champlain College Young Writers' Conference, as well as own and operate Summer's Gale Farm in Leicester, VT.