(Above: My grandparents, Paul and Eleanor Booker.)
(Below: The query letter for the 5000+ word personal essay on the town of my birth.)
“Poplar Bluff” is a memoir of the fondest kinds of memories–those from childhood. It is a juicy slice of small town American life, which includes a history of P.B., peppered with anecdotes and salted with sweet remembrances.
For several years, I spent all my summers with my grandparents in P.B., my aunt, uncle and cousins right next door. I didn’t have that kind of luxury or history in Pensacola, Florida—the luxury of having family close by, and of a shared history in the place where I lived.
“Poplar Bluff” is also coming-of-age essay, where the memories are as golden as the tones in a vintage photograph, and the present is as stark as Technicolor. It is also a love story of loss and moving on from loss. Poplar Bluff, as I remember it, is representative of a simpler time, before Facebook and cell phones and other devices monopolized our hours, when kids played outside and entertained themselves.
It is a story of the wonders of summer through the eyes of a child.
My parents were into genealogy during those seasons of my life, and so I have them to thank for some of the more factual content, but the parts I believe that will resonate most is the story only I can tell.
I believe anyone who has ever called Missouri home, and those who have chosen it as their home, will find something worth remembering in what is simply titled, “Poplar Bluff: A Memoir”.
A little about me: I am married and the mother of a five-month old baby girl. In addition to being a full-time, stay-at-home mom, I am the unofficial family storyteller. I regularly blog on issues of freelance writing, marriage and motherhood. My current project is a collection of children’s nursery rhymes, unofficially titled, “The Treasury of the Sara Madre.” I am also a member of the local writer’s group, WriteOn! Pensacola.
Thank you for your generous time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sarah Lea Richards
(Above: My grandmother, as I remember her, and their dog, Jacques.)