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Sydney Lea

Sydney Lea
Sydney Lea is a nature enthusiast. For A Place in Mind, Lea brings his poetic talent to a novel set in the woods of Maine. Hunting the Whole Way Home is a collection of his naturalist essays.

A master narrative poet, Lea's previous poetry volumes include Prayer for the Little City, No Sign, The Floating Candles and Searching the Drowned Man. His seventh verse collection will be Pursuit of a Wound. His only novel, A Place in Mind, was first published in 1989 and in paperback in 1997. Lea was the founder and long-time editor of The New England Review. He is the past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for poetry, and of a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. A Vermont native, Lea is also the author of numerous essays and magazine pieces on morally responsible hunting and dog-training, some of which are collected in Hunting the Whole Way Home.

The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and the major literary quarterlies print his poems and essays somewhat regularly. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations. As a fellow for the Fulbright Foundation, Lea visited the Hungarian National University in Budapest in 1992.

Lea founded and for thirteen years edited the New England Review. He holds BA, MA and PhD degrees from Yale University. He has taught at Yale, Wesleyan, and Middlebury College. Currently he teaches at both Dartmouth and the MFA program at Vermont College. He has five children and lives with them and his wife, a lawyer and the director of small claims mediation for Caledonia County, in Newbury, Vermont.

Hunting the Whole Way Home
Sydney Lea
Emerson described the hunter as "commanded in nature by the living power which he feels to be there present." The autobiographical essays in this elegiac collection convey that sense of living power, for Sydney Lea goes far beyond colorful accounts of tramping through Vermont woods following a gun dog's bell or a buck's trail. Hunting the Whole Way Home is a search for a personal philosophy or, as Robert Frost put it, a union of avocation and vocation, in which Lea explores the connection between his love for nature and his passion for writing.

Place in Mind, A
Sydney Lea
The unlikely friendship between professor Brant Healey and Louis, an unlettered, superstitious woodsman, is at the heart of A Place in Mind. These two men love fishing and hunting, the rural Maine landscape, whiskey from tin cups, and stories that emerge from campfires and cold rivers.

"'In a series of lyrical, stunningly crafted flashbacks, Brant Healy recalls barroom brawls, lusty affairs, travels to France and a crucial friendship, all over a span of 40-odd years." --New York Times Book Review

"A Place in Mind is a thoughtful, uplifting examination of a lifelong friendship and a tribute to the human spirit. It celebrates the beauty of rivers, lakes, and woods in an era before pollution and ecological disaster." --Library JournaI

"This is a novel for which the words haunting and elegiac are correct but sadly inadequate." --Outside

"Lea is able to weave a rich web, full of country anecdotes, real Maine speech, and vivid portraits of bird shooting and deer hunting and Brant's one all-too-believable tragic love affair. And, above all, fishing. Maybe this really is a fly-fishing book, at least in a way, say, A River Runs Through It is..." --Gray's Sporting Journal

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