The Book Stall celebrated Valentine's Day with visits from several regional authors Saturday.
Ken Burger of Charleston, author of "Swallow Savannah," autographed copies of his debut novel Saturday morning. Attendance for the book signing was brisk, with fans of the novel fictionalizing the impact of the construction of "the Bomb Plant" on the local landscape coming in to meet Burger, according to Meg Ferguson of The Book Stall.
"We had a sensational book signing," Ferguson said. "Ken was engaging, entertaining and quite personable. We had a large turnout and we anticipate his book doing quite well here."
In the afternoon, Ferguson turned the shop floor over to the poets of the anthology "After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-shattering Events." Editor Tom Lombardo of Atlanta and contributors Laurel Blossom of Edgefield, Dennis Ward Stiles of Charleston and Ed Madden of Columbia each read their own poems and two other selections from the anthology.
"In a way this project was born on April 13, 1985. That was the day my first wife, Lana, was killed in a car accident," Lombardo said. "I found myself a rather young widower, with no peers in my own age group. I took great comfort in poetry, trying to understand the process of grief."
Stiles read his own submission, "Bringing You Back," on the theme of recovering from a failed love affair, and followed it up with "First Husband" by Rebecca McClanahan, on divorce, and "That Year For My Mother," by Susan Meyers, on the death of her mother.
Blossom could read only excerpts from her entry in "After Shocks," as her poem on alcoholism, "The Intemperate Zone" takes up 14 pages in the anthology's section on recovery from addiction. She also chose to read Kate Gale's "Sex After Babies" and Martha Collins' war poem "After."
Madden led off with "an anti-Valentine's poem," John McAllister's "Dog Days," and J.E. Pitts' "Scar Inventory" before reading his own entry, "Weekend."
Lombardo read his own poem, "Daffodils," Satyendra Srivastava's entry "Sir Winston Churchill Knew My Mother," and "The Wall" by Nazand Begikhani.
"My mother died before Christmas, and I thought if I could get a few words of inspiration about recovery, that would be great," said poetry reading attendee Maryann Zeliznak. "I really enjoyed it."
For more information about "Swallow Savannah" or "After Shocks," call The Book Stall at 644-0604, or visit the shop on Hayne Avenue in Aiken.