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Up the Creek Without a Saddle: Heartwarming Book of Vermont-Inspired Poetry Transforms Into Ground-Breaking 'Lecture' of Reading, Artwork & Music

Jerry Johnson’s book of ninety-nine poems and art has already been celebrated from coast to coast for its ability to capture the natural beauty of Vermont’s landscape, animals and the emotions they fuel. However, it is now transcending a traditional book into what publisher Virgo eBooks refers to as a ‘lecture’, fusing the verses and artwork with stunning music that brings each page to immersive life.


New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/06/2014 -- Millions of people around the world dream of living in places like Northern Vermont, where the weather, seasons, animals and landscapes take on a compelling life of their own. Artist Jerry Johnson is one of the lucky few to call the region home and, having spent a lifetime being inspired by his surroundings, is bringing to market a unique book that provides so much more than a weekend read.

‘Up the Creek Without a Saddle’ contains ninety-nine poems, an abundance of Johnson-created artwork and accompanying music by some of the State’s most renowned musicians. In all, this fusion of sight and sound allows readers to briefly escape the ‘now’ and see life through the eyes of Vermont itself.

In this celebrated book, UP THE CREEK WITHOUT A SADDLE, award-winning poet Jerry Johnson has created a universal memoir of life experiences. Animals, the natural world around us, people, first loves, loss, joy, and so much more breathes in his poetry full of treasured images.

The words portray life on many levels, the images stay with you, and there is a feeling of kinship with what is described. It is a joy to read this book, and to give it as a gift to others that will be treasured forever. Sixteen of the book's 99 poems were beautifully set to music by Jon Gailmor and Pete Sutherland, two of Vermont's most beloved and legendary troubadours.

“We originally supplied the CD separately but, in an effort to create a new kind of ‘digital lecture’ reading experience, we now provide it for free with the paperback version and the Ebook format already has the music fully integrated,” explains Raul Folea of Virgo Publishing. “This provides a new interactive reading opportunity that is one of the first of its kind.”

Continuing, “The author worked on this project for almost a decade and publishing it is the culmination of a lifetime’s dream to allow others to see the world from the unique perspective of Vermonters. Johnson has split the book into four sections - Gifts from Animals, Natural Things, The Human Element, Time and Place – which represent the four vastly-different elements that fuse together to make life in the State as special as it is.”

Since its release, the book has attracted a string of rave reviews. Steve Ethier comments, “In his book Up the Creek Without a Saddle, Jerry Johnson has compiled a wonderful anthology of poems. Jerry writes his poetry with enthusiasm and love for everything around us. Jerry opens the eyes of all readers and shows his affection for all nature on our wonderful planet.”

Reeve Lindbergh adds, “Reading Jerry's work sometimes feels to me like taking a brisk walk on a Vermont autumn day, with its crisp gusts of wind, changes of weather and mood, solemn moments and cheerful moments, tremendous energy, and the pleasure of sudden glimpses of lovely, unexpected light.”

Sydney Lea, Poet Laureate of Vermont, sees the book’s musical pairings as a natural fit, “Jerry Johnson has the true songwriter's gift: his lyrics seem so simple, but that's a deception. The more one listens — and the tunes are brilliantly served by the excellent Jon Gailmor and Pete Sutherland — the deeper they get. What a pleasure this album is!”

‘Up the Creek Without a Saddle’, from Virgo eBooks, is available now: http://bit.ly/1x7BON4

About Jerry Johnson
Jerry Johnson lives on a farm in northern Vermont. The stimulus for much of UP THE CREEK WITHOUT A SADDLE stems from the natural beauty of this Vermont locale. Jerry states: “I couldn’t help but capture in words the beauty that I have seen around me – autumn leaves, summer rains, timeworn stone walls snaking through the woods, maple sugaring in springtime, thirty-below-zero winter days, and so much more. Vermont has been my inspiration, but my themes are universal: Animals, people, and the natural world.” His book has received applause from several noted poets and writers.

Jerry is a retired professor from Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts where he was a finalist for the school's excellence in teaching award. He taught for 29 years at the middle school, high school and college levels. In addition, he has been a civil engineer, tennis pro, carpenter, artist, freelance writer and editor. Jerry is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he was honored with the Eastern College Athletic Conference Award as the school's top student-athlete.