The “Yard Man” alum, poet and gardner

"Yard Man" by Bill Hengst GCP'64 Gr'85 (Cover illustration by Carol Scott.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Ginny Smith recently wrote about Bill Hengst GCP’64 Gr’85, a Penn alum and former city planner who is now “enjoying twin second careers as a professional gardener and writer of fiction, memoirs, and poetry.”

On Jan. 29, Finishing Line Press will publish Yard Man — a book of Hengst’s garden-themed poems. (The title comes from a childhood nickname Hengst’s father gave him.)

A few sample lines from the new book, via Smith:

In “It Might as Well Be Spring,” he writes about a red wheelbarrow left by the pond last fall. “Its carcass of handle and legs / is indistinguishable from the shrub bones / that survived winter’s wrack.”

In “Survivors,” the autumn landscape is “wild with brown,” covered with fallen leaves. “I root for those that swirl / through winter, surfing snow,” he writes.

You can read Smith’s full article here.

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Filed under Alumni, Written Word

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