A boy falling in love with his next door neighbor, a priest longing for a more fulfilling life, a garage owner closing his shop to eat a lard sandwich, "Sister" Lily sporting three pairs of new shoes when "two is ample," a father trying to gain his son's admiration by reading Wordsworth to his class-these and more come alive in Lawson's collection of narrative poetry, "Something about Missouri." His portrayal of a past rural life is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but always sensitive to the complications of growing up. This world becomes a metaphor for family, adolescent love, and the struggle with life's disappointments. He is a master of describing a particular time and place, so that you feel you have grown up in that part of the country and are reading about friends. These poems describe the inhabitants of a fictional Missouri town with love, as one treats one's family, with a voice that appreciates the honesty of the people and finds the irony of this life.
Poet Richard A. Lawson keeps Missouri close to his heart as he writes poetry about his home state. The Missouri native, now a resident of Sunnyvale, California, is the author of the book "The Tree in the Middle of the Playground." He worked as an engineer at Ford Motor Company before earning a master's degree and becoming a teacher for twenty years. Now retired, he writes poetry. He lives with his wife, Vicky.