The Lily of the West is available
from your local bookstore or on-line vendors such as Amazon or Barnes
600 Overbrook Drive
Nicholasville, KY 40356
When first I came to Louisville some pleasure there to find
A damsel there from Lexington was pleasing to the mind
Her rosy cheeks, her ruby lips like arrows pierced my breast
And the name she bore was Flora, the Lily of the West.
— 19th century American Folk Song
Using the folksong of a tragic love triangle as a jumping-off point, Cooperman's
The Lily of the West is a tale of desperate ambition, unrequited love, murder, greed, and promises, both broken and kept. Ranging from ante-bellum Kentucky and the horrors of slavery and the Civil War to Paris, then New York City, and finally back to Louisville,
The Lily of the West is a Sophoclean tale of “character is fate.”
Bards and balladeers of the past created heroes, villains and absorbing tales of good and evil through poetry: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Tennyson. The tradition has nearly died away ... but not quite. Denver's prize-winning poet, Robert Cooperman, spins out one rip-snorting, earthy tale after another in his perfectly-crafted narrative poetry. With this new volume,
The Lily of the West, he has done it once again, proving poetry books can be page turners. His lively cast of characters deals with lust, greed, pride, slavery, war and heartbreaking changes of fortune. I suspect most readers will dash through to the end only to realize it will be necessary to read the book again immediately to admire the poetic skill.
— Carol Hamilton, Former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma
Cooperman has the ability to take a singular event and spin a yarn of surrounding details that bring you right into the room. There is a crisp clarity in these pictures he takes, a sensitivity that often haunts. You start out reading a poem, and end up feeling as if you have been eavesdropping, note taking. He is a master of delicate images, both personal and private, and he gently nudges them into your hands where you will turn them over and over again. His imagination is as wild as a sculptor. Cooperman is a skilled medium for his characters. He hears their voices loudly, translates them precisely. The characters in
The Lily of The West grin and leer from the pages, only able to tell their story because of Cooperman’s clairvoyance.
— Kenlynne Rini, Editor, Tribeca Poetry Review