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Ballad of Louis Wagner and Other New England Stories in Verse


Portsmouth Poet Laureate John Perrault offers -- not only lyrics, but a complete musical CD inside this unique book. Includes his ballad of the sunken Squalus submarine as well as the title cut on the1873 Smuttynose murder and many more.


The Ballad of Louis Wagner is a riveting account of the notorious murders on the Isles of Shoals in 1873, the ballad's 'narrator' is Louis himself, the man convicted and hung for the crime. The man whose spirit is doomed to relive his transgression by repeatedly telling the tale to listeners whom fate has appointed. This collection by Portsmouth's Poet Laureate includes Sonny's Back, the story of a Vietnam Vet returning home to Old Town, as well as ballads on Henry David Thoreau of Concord, the celebrated Boorn brothers of Manchester, Vermont (they confessed to a murder they never committed), and of Portsmouth's Gerald McLees who survived the sinking of the submarine Squalus in 1939. Each ballad is prefaced with explanatory text and accompanied by a Peter Randall photograph. The book contains a CD of John singing all the ballads and songs.

From John Perrault: I've been stumbling over the rocks and roots of Maine and New Hampshire all my life. Stub your toe, twist your ankle, and the ground gets to you. As it clearly gets to Peter Randall's camera. When I first saw Peter's images, I fell right into the pictures. Now, here we are, wandering around in the woods together. It's not that we're lost. Just detained awhile.

BUY CDS & BOOKS by John Perrault online

About the Author

John Perrault is a practicing attorney in both Maine and New Hampshire. He teaches a course in politics and literature at the University of New Hampshire, and American Literature at Southern New Hampshire University. A published essayist and poet, his work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Poet Lore, Key West Review, Accent, and numerous other publications. John has also recorded six albums of original and traditional music, accompanying himself on guitar. He is the current poet laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This is his first book. The Ballad of Louis Wagner and Other New England Stories in Verse.

Peter E. Randall, Publisher
6" x 9", 13 b&w photographs, 96 pages, cloth, CD

READ: Lyrics to "Ballad of Louis Wagner"
VISIT: Our Smuttynose Murder section

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