Royal Palm Beach High School instructor Dr. J.P. Linstroth’s newly released, second book of poetry, Epochal Reckonings was recently named as co-winner of the prestigious Proverse Prize for Literature. The book launched in November by Proverse Publishers HK.
Linstroth has been teaching, mostly in higher education, for 24 years but came to Royal Palm Beach High School four years ago. He is a social sciences teacher at the school and currently teaches honors world history. Linstroth is also an adjunct professor at Barry University and an affiliate faculty member at Catholic University of New Spain in Miami.
With a doctorate from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, Linstroth has earned a president’s Lifetime Achievement Award and served a Fulbright scholarship in Brazil.
While most of Linstroth’s work is academic nonfiction, this is his second book of poetry. The first was The Forgotten Shore. He said it took him just over a year to write the second book.
The book describes and responds to some of the world crises and human suffering over the past century.
“I would summarize the book itself as compassion for human suffering,” said Linstroth, explaining that it focuses on different subject areas, such as starvation, racism, 9/11, genocide against indigenous people in Brazil, the Great Migration Crisis, the Yemeni civil war, Abu Ghraib, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, the deaths of African American youth, and more.
“Being somebody who is aware of the news, I have felt the need to write about events — natural and man-made disasters,” Linstroth said.
Much of Linstroth’s work has a fairly somber tone, but often hopeful. He is also working on a nonfiction project, writing about a Tibetan monk. “I talk about heavy subjects, such as nationalism and genocide, but at the end of the book, I talk about love and compassion — compassion for the environment and the indigenous notions of ‘being.’”
In the book of poetry, he saw no need for such an ending.
Linstroth pointed out his aim in the book is, as he puts it, “To cause concern, discussion and surprise, as well as to evoke emotions of anger, empathy and sadness surrounding major events.
RPBHS Vice Principal Renee Houck said that the school is proud to have Linstroth on the faculty.
“I feel, and the administration as a whole feels, blessed to have him on campus. This is a great honor that we wanted to share with a wider audience,” Houck said. “Because he is able to share all the things that he has done with our students, we are fortunate to have him. He is amazing.”
Epochal Reckonings by Dr. J.P. Linstroth is available on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble. It is listed in the British Library, and the Library of Congress is picking it up as well, he noted.
Here is the link to the book on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Epochal-Reckonings-Winners-Proverse-Prize/dp/9888491946/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=