On Saturday, February 20, Key West Poet Laureate Rosalind Brackenbury welcomes the public to celebrate the release of her newest novel The Third Swimmer at Salt Island Provisions on 830 Fleming Street from 6pm–8pm. The soiree will include a brief reading and reception with libations and refreshments and the artwork of Kimberly Narenkivicius.
The twelfth novel in her prolific career, The Third Swimmer centers around World War II, the era in which Brackenbury was born, and “the effect of wartime on love affairs and marriages, the silences people had to observe and the secrets kept,” says Brackenbury.
”It is based on a real event that happened to my parents,” she continues. “I’ve been writing and rewriting it for so long, trying to make a novel rise from the shreds of a story that I had only from a newspaper article about my father’s dive into the Mediterranean in 1952 to rescue somebody he didn’t know.”
Originally from London, Brackenbury moved to Key West in 1992 and has published widely in both the UK and the US. Her previous novel, Becoming George Sands, was translated into Italian and Dutch and her poetry has been translated into French and published in France. She has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, the Key West Literary Seminar and the Academy of American Poet’s Poem-A-Day series, and her poems and stories have appeared in journals throughout the globe.
“Rosalind Brackenbury is a writer’s writer. Her words transform us with the passion of a poet and the prose of a classic storyteller. We are blessed to have Roz among us,” says Jeffrey Cardenas.
Cardenas is the new proprietor of the Fleming Street shop and gallery recetnly purchased from artist and photographer Kimberly Narenkivicius, as well as the new publisher of SALT, a publication Brackenbury has been a frequent contributor to and which Narenkivicius launched in 2006.
“All the rest is fiction,” says Brackenbury of her latest release. “But for me it illumines a truth that I have needed to find for a lifetime, about the war I was born in, London at that time, and the postwar state of Europe; and, more personally, about my parents’ marriage. It feels both daring and iconoclastic, and I hope they would forgive me and know that I wrote it with love and admiration.”