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Madison Musings

Local resident Grant pens his first
in a series of poetry books

He will hold a book signing
and launch April 14 in Madison

Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(April 2012) – “It’s like I was almost there.” Many readers have uttered that phrase after having enjoyed a particularly vivid chapter in a favorite book. Descriptions of colorful leaves, crisp air, and splashing water can leave readers feeling like they have just returned from a visit to the place described.
Jim Grant’s first book of poetry, “Madison, Indiana: A Peace of History,” takes a more literal approach in appealing to his audience’s senses. In addition to the more than 50 poems that vividly bring to life the people and places of Madison through the written word, the book also includes visual art by area painters and photographers.

Jim Grant

Photo by Lela Bradshaw

Jim Grant’s love for
Madison has resulted in
a collection of poems.

Inside the pages, readers will find color illustrations by many area artists including Rick Bennett, Robert H. Saueressig and Theresa Strohl. For those who appreciate the power of the spoken word, each copy of the book includes a code that will allow purchasers to download an audio recording of the book.
Grant explains that, “I’ve always enjoyed radio theater” and so he put his experience in voice overs to use in recording the book with himself as the narrator. Perhaps more surprisingly, the book also gives readers a chance to create their own taste of Madison by including family recipes in some of the final pages. Through his book, Grant hopes to “share the same pictures that people will recall” from their own experiences in Madison.
Grant lived in Madison during the early 1980s before moving to California to raise his children. Twelve years ago he returned to be closer to his aging parents. His love of the area is reflected by how deeply involved he has become in community life.
In addition to serving as president of the Madison Fudge Factory and Guest Suites, he is also part owner of the Madison Trolley, a member of the advisory board for John Paul Park, and is active in marketing for Thornton Terrace.
“Jim is very much a part of the fabric of our community,” says Village Lights Bookstore co-owner Nathan Montoya.
On April 14, the Village Lights Bookstore will play host to a book launch for “Madison, Indiana: A Peace of History.” The event will run from 4-7 p.m. and will give guests a chance to meet and chat with the author as well as pick up signed copies of the book. Throughout the evening, Brook Reindollar and Yvonne Davis will be playing on the store’s Steinway grand piano.
Refreshments, including fudge, will be available. Montoya notes that as owners of the book store, he and wife, Anne Vestuto, are “picky about who we present” when it comes to hosting author events. He describes the book saying, “It’s a lovely thing. We’re very happy to be a part of it.”
Montoya said that while “some qualities are very particular to Madison,” the book presents a snapshot of the town that can be enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. He believes that Grant has “done a real service to the community with this book.”
It was during Grant’s time working with the Madison Bicentennial Celebration that the idea for the book came about. “I’ve written poetry since I was a little boy,” Grant explains. He notes that after some of his walks through Madison, he would come home and write, “four, five, six, or seven” poems in an evening. His inspiration for some poems came from conversations he had with older residents who had spent many years in town, while others drew from the strength of character he found projected from cracks in old buildings.
Grant has four other books of poetry “prepared in the rough” and is currently writing a fifth. He advises aspiring authors to, “Live your dream – write a lot, get your thoughts out and be creative. Work hard, develop your character, and find a way to express it.”

• “Madison, Indiana: A Peace of History” will be for sale at a variety of area locations including the Madison Fudge Factory, the Clifty Inn gift shop, King’s Daughters’ Hospital & Health Services, Lanier Mansion gift shop and the bookstores at Hanover College and Ivy Tech Community College.

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