Frazier publishes a collection of poetry

Published 6:38 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

Chapman Hood Frazier, a Professor in Residence for JMU and award-winning poet has just published his first collection of poetry, The Lost Books of the Bestiary. It is a collection of poems that explore the psychic connections between our human and animal selves in an evolutionary journey that encompasses myth and spirit. 

Traditionally during medieval times, a bestiary was often an illuminated manuscript that employed real or legendary creatures to provide insights into the Christian faith.  Frazier’s collection is quite different. The Northern Irish poet, Medbh McGuckian says: “This densely crafted first book mingles the sacred and the profane.” The internationally known poet and Fulbright Scholar, Gregory Orr writes that the poems, “mingle the intimate glory and unthinking horror into a fascinating and fascinated frenzy at the dazzle of things. What a dense, sensuous, energetic tour de force!” 

This book, a finalist for V Press LC Poetry Book Award received both publication and a cash award. Many of the poems have also been award winners in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s annual contests and have appeared in a range of publications including: The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Southern Poetry Review, The South Carolina Poetry Review, The Appalachian Heritage: A Magazine of Southern Appalachian Life and Culture, and other small press publications. 

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The cover art, “Altar for the Primordial Crossing” was created by the award-winning artist, Anderson Giles whose work explores: “the mythic drama of destruction, suffering, survival, triumph, eventual healing and spiritual transcendence.” Giles and Frazier have enjoyed decades of collaboration. The art critic, Allen Been, describes Giles’s paintings as: “…not learned but lived, like direct transcriptions of intuited experience. He brings to his paintings a powerful emotional urgency and a sense of art as a personal quest for knowledge.” This visually stunning book is a testament to their long friendship and mutual spiritual quests.

Chapman Hood Frazier lives in Rice, with his wife, founder of the Sunrise Learning Center and artist, Deborah Carrington. Both were professors of education at both Longwood University and James Madison University before returning to Southside Virginia to live close to their children, Dylan Frazier and Caitlin Frank and grandchildren and continue to work for positive change in our community. Frazier has also taught English and creative writing poetry at Southside Virginia Community College in Keysville, Murray High School in Charlottesville and The University of Maine Presque Isle. Frazier’s website is: and can be reached at (434) 390-6709.

Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Farmville will host a book signing on Saturday, April 8 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Frazier has also been invited to read at The Flyleaf Poetry Series in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Sunday, March 12 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and New Dominion Bookstore in Charlottesville on July 21 at 7 p.m.