Darkness and Light by Caleb Westphal, 2020

Darkness and Light charts points of hope within times of misery, and in doing so opens the speaker from an initial isolation to community. The poems are rooted in songwriting and carry a lyrical tone reminiscent of ballad form. Instead of hearkening to the past with a toxic nostalgia, the poems bring that communalist impulse forward.

This book is hand-bound with a pamphlet stitch using waxed red linen thread. The text pages are laser printed on 24 lb recycled paper. The cover is metallic-red gel pen printed by bot arm on black 60 lb cover stock. This book is made in Milwaukee in an edition of 50.

Caleb Westphal grew up outside of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and currently lives in Milwaukee. He has been a racing pigeon caretaker, inground and above ground pool installer, custodian, library worker, futon delivery person, farm-to-table food delivery person, gym floor installer, substitute teacher, and teacher. He currently does none of those things, but probably will again at some point once the writing thing doesn’t pan out. At the time of publication, Caleb has eaten at least 334 Friday fish frys in a row. He has written about a lot of these fish frys for Milwaukee Record. He has played saxophone in various Wisconsin rock and roll bands, the most recent being Devils Teeth. He’s also working on a screenplay that might be finished sometime.