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No one can speak for Bob Dylan except Bob Dylan. Fiction, however, has other thoughts and in Songs from a Voice, Being the Recollections, Stanzas and Observations of Abe Runyan, Song Writer and Performer. Baron Wormser has created a narrator who offers a first-person take on the years that begin in the spaces of the upper Midwest and wind up in the streets of Greenwich Village. As a parallel figure, Abe puts forward a chain of circumstances, influences and predilections that lead the reader into the mystery of where one era-changing artist came from. The story that is told by Abe is not a shadow dance with facts [or “an echo of facts”] but an evocation of what went into the making of a musical soul, right down to the quatrains that he writes as part of his tale and as lyrical notes to himself. As a novel, Songs from a Voice is a homage, investigation, sly nod and, ultimately, an affirmation of the strength of one man’s imagination.
"This lyrical and dramatic meditation on popular music, culture, and individuality in post-World War II America could be titled Chronicles, Volume Two: a Bob Dylan Story by Baron Wormser and nobody would blink. Abe Runyan, an invented character, is an amazing narrator; it’s as if Greil Marcus, Bob Dylan, Baron Wormser, and an assortment of Delta blues musicians gathered together, had a few drinks, and told the collective story of who we are and how we got here, of imagination and mortality and all the tunes that keep us going when haunted by the endless highways and ticking clocks in America. It’s a wonderful novel, a tour de force that’s as penetrating and powerful as any of Bob Dylan’s best songs."
—Alan Davis, co-editor of Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan
Songs is scheduled to be reviewed by Foreword Reviews, Neon, Solstice, and many others. Wormser will be interviewed by book blogger Deborah Kalb and others as part of a virtual blog tour. Excerpts from the book and poems from the book will be featured on Instagram and Social Media. Woodhall Press will appear at the Brooklyn Book Festival AWP 2021, The Connecticut Literary Festival and many other events.