I have always been fascinated by the quaint New-England Primer, ever since I was a little girl playing "old-fashioned school" with my reproduction edition, and so I was delighted when I saw that NH Poet Martha Carlson-Bradley's latest book of poetry was inspired by the New-England Primer of 1727.
The poems of Begin with Trouble often lift, erase, disarrange, or subvert the language of the 1727 New-England Primer — a book read by children in New England and beyond throughout the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth. Whole communities, whole generations of children were introduced both to reading and to a world view that asserted "our God is a consuming Fire." In Begin with Trouble, Carlson-Bradley captures different voices in these communities, from children struggling with class and mortality, duty and the afterlife, to an elderly Native American survivor of internment and an enslaved young man from Africa. The connotations of the book as a physical object also speak throughout Begin with Trouble — as does the twenty-first-century narrator, who discovers that archives contain timeless messages of desire, fear, regret, and an enduring need for human connection. -- Publisher's blurb.Be sure to visit Martha's event page for upcoming readings at libraries and bookshops around New Hampshire in 2018!