Robert Rowe's Latest Book "The Day Kal Aikins Streaked Down Main Street" Coming InCountdown

Robert Rowe's poems tell stories. The high school student Kal Aikens who, in a carpe diem moment, dons a Halloween mask and streaks through the center of Bath, Maine. The skier, Marcus Muller, who schusses Tuckerman's Ravine to impress a girl. The chatterbox grandmother who won't stop telling stories even though people have stopped listening, but not Mr. Rowe. The athlete in his poem “The Perfect Search” who swims from Maine to Canada on a quest to find eternal meaning. In sum, Mr. Rowe's characters are trying to strip off the veneer of everyday life and discover what it feels like to be truly alive. Mr. Rowe is happy to oblige. With his lyrical language reminiscent of Yeats, intricate off-rhyme schemes, and ability to extend metaphors through entire poems, Mr. Rowe serves poetry that surprises, amuses, and is a pleasure to read. Most of all, his poems complete the sacred task of poetry: the ability to lift up readers and take them to an exuberant place, where in the words of one of Rowe's characters: "the skin never cuts, the neck never snaps, and the snow never stays this late in June." Readers of Robert Frost's "Birches" and "Mending Wall" and Longfellow's "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" will find a kindred spirit in the poetry of Mr. Rowe." This wonderful volume firmly places Mr. Rowe at the forefront of the New Narrative movement in poetry. I suspect this book will delight poetry lovers, but also attract new readers to poetry.
 - Michael Jones, publisher
                            BELLHORN PRESS

        Winner of 2018 New Voices in Fiction Series

Garage Songs is the story of the Brice Family. The year is 1983 and Galvin Brice is expanding his Chevy dealership in his quest to outwit his rival Skip Lee and sell the most cars in Merriam Hill, Massachusetts. His 18-year-old son, Donny “Donk” Brice, is a golden boy. He’s a football player, guitarist, and freelance philosopher with opinions on everything. Can Donk learn his crossover steps and land a football scholarship while figuring out the meaning of life? Meanwhile, his 16-year-old brother, Kuba “Spaz” Brice is hyperactive and insecure. He’s a practical joker who loves writing songs, hiking, and trying to impress Donk’s buddies. Can Kuba succeed in his quest to become “more loved” than Donk? Perhaps the most talented Brice is the 17-year-old sister Raina who sings in the school chorus and a local rock group. Can Raina navigate the unforgiving music business and find success? Lastly, the mom, Marna Brice is an ex-beauty queen who’s trying to raise her children in a rapidly changing culture. Garage Songs mixes comic hilarity with philosophy and tragedy. The cast of supporting characters is memorable. The best friend Scott Pushkoff is convinced every girl in Merriam Hill is “in love” with him. Aunt Bee begins mixing bloody Marys at noon. The Irish salesman Fallon Moran is fast and loose with Galvin’s money. Coach Brewer teaches the boys tough love, telling them: “Spare me the labor pains, show me the baby.” Pastor MacDonald offers the family spiritual guidance, saying: “You can’t fool Him.” Above all, Garage Songs is a novel of our times. Galvin Brice's quest for business success in a town that values money over substance, and bankers who place profit ahead of people. Kuba’s search for a true friend in a society that doesn't value friendship. Raina’s search for success as a singer in a culture that places fame ahead of talent. In short, Garage Songs is a novel about music, those who have music, those who do not, and that rare ability to know the difference. The wonder of Garage Songs is the novel’s ability to reveal, amid our human flaws, the redeeming parts that reside in us all.


Robert Rowe’s novel GARAGE SONGS was a #1 Best-Selling New Release on Amazon. Rowe grew up with 7 brothers and sisters in Lexington, MA, where his Dad ran a Chevy dealership. Rowe attended high school in Rangeley, Maine, spending his free time playing guitar, hiking, reading, and ski racing. During his senior year, Rowe’s high school ski team won the state championship. Rowe studied writing at U. Maine, Farmington with Kenneth Rosen, Wesley McNair, and Bill Roorbach. Later, Rowe studied songwriting and drama at UCLA. He received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UMASS, Amherst, studying with John Edgar Wideman, Noy Holland, James Tate, Mary Ruefle, and Dara Wier. After college, he worked as an English teacher, car salesman, musician, and dressman. In 2017, he co-founded Rowe School of Writing, an online writing school. His short story “The Violin Player” appeared in the Sandy River Review. He lives in Natick, MA with his wife Marisa and 3 sons.
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