FARMINGTON — DDG Booksellers, 193 Broadway, will host an author presentation and book signing of the books “Tom o’ Vietnam” and “Legends of the Slow Explosion” by the former Poet Laureate of Maine, Baron Wormser, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18.

Wormser’s 15th book, “Tom o’ Vietnam,” traces the travels of a Vietnam veteran in the fall of 1982. “Tom o’ Vietnam” is a very American road novel but also an evocation and investigation of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” Like Tom o’ Bedlam, Tom is hiding out, “impersonating a person,” as he puts it. Tom journeys on one bus after another across a landscape that makes him wonder what he was fighting for. From Santa Fe to Washington, D.C., he meets fellow Americans who have their own stories to tell and who wonder about his. Along the way he spends time with his three sisters, all the while attempting to deal with the demons of the war and the ghosts of the Shakespearean tragedy he carries with him. “Tom o’ Vietnam” blends poetry, history and dark wit, as it bears witness to the depths of eloquence and grief, anger and endurance. 

Wormser’s new book “Legends of the Slow Explosion” is about people from the mid-20th century whose lives created ripple effects beyond their individuality. Including electrifying portraits of Rosa Parks, Hannah Arendt, Miles Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Willem de Kooning, among others, these are not conventional “biographical” essays. Wormser has created a multi-dimensional prose that brings a reader into the visceral presence of these human catalysts.

Baron Wormser

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