Thirty-five Passages Over Water

By Alan Cheuse
Salt Lake City, Utah: Green Cat Press, 2007. Edition of 100.

13.5 x 17"; single sheet. Printed on white Rives BFK paper. Letterpress printed with three colors: turquoise, gray, and black.

An essay about the joy of growing up by the sea by National Public Radio literary analyst, Alan Cheuse. This text is an excerpt from a larger body of work that was written "[o]n board the Arahura (which, in Maori, means Pathway to Dawn), the imposing steamer-size car/passenger ferry from Wellington, North Island, New Zealand, to Picton, South Island, New Zealand, ... The weather was fair, bright sun, and once the large auto and passenger ferry pushed out of Wellington harbor ... it churned around the point into the Cook Strait reminding us of where we found ourselves, along the forty-first parallel, facing south toward Antarctica, where the waters of the South Pacific rushed to embrace and meld with the waters of the Tasman Sea." "Acclaimed author Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio's longtime 'voice of books,' is the author of five novels, four collections of short fiction, and the memoir Fall Out of Heaven. As a book commentator, Cheuse is a regular contributor to National Public Radio's 'All Things Considered.' His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, The Idaho Review, and The Southern Review, among other places. He teaches in the Writing Program at George Mason University and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers."

The ebb and flow of waters, the detritus, flotsam, treasures left behind on the sand, the marine life, fresh water and salt mingling in the tides, the sound of buoys on summer nights, bells, horns, the ships anchored within sight of our playlands: the hope this gives you as a child, there is almost no explaining.