Poet, teacher and mentor to many: Ted Bookey died March 10 in Augusta, Maine at age 90. I was lucky to meet Ted and Ruth about 15 years ago. I had the privilege of publishing four books of his poetry and two anthologies he did of UMaine-Augusta Senior College student poets’ work. Ted and Ruth were my Maine “parents” in many ways and unfailingly supportive and generous. Ted was always willing to encourage and mentor poets of all levels of skill and experience, write blurbs, and spread the word about others’ work. He was funny, wise and had a great zest for life. His poetry is often profound but also often amusing. Here is one of his short poems from his collection WITH A W/HOLE IN ONE, published by Moon Pie Press in 2010.
The bee can mate while he’s in flight
–penis forward, feet retracted.
Not that I would mind the height
Only that I am easily distracted.