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Ring in the new year with ‘I Bang Down a Silver Bell,’ a unique collection of poems

Jan 4, 2017 | Arts & Culture

No Frills Buffalo has published a new book of poems from local author Tommy Blake. “I Bang Down a Silver Bell” is a collection of 14 poems written by Blake, who grew up in Buffalo. He was born deaf and with cerebral palsy.

The poems were written over the past several years, a period of time that coincided with Blake regaining his hearing through cochlear implants, resulting in a wonderfully lyrical outburst that already has delighted readers around Western New York. Tommy Blake is the brother of journalist/author Rich Blake, who wrote the foreword to Tommy’s book.

“I Bang Down a Silver Bell” is available on Amazon and at Dog Ears Bookstore on Abbott Road in South Buffalo. As a delightful footnote, Blake currently resides in the very same West Seneca house where legendary artist Charles Burchfield once lived and where he painted some of his masterpieces!

Born in Buffalo, Blake attended Public School No. 84. As a child, deaf and unable to walk without crutches due to his cerebral palsy, he was a visible figure in numerous annual charitable efforts benefiting special needs kids. He later graduated from West Seneca West Senior High School.

Upon relocating to Port Orange, Fla., near Daytona Beach in the early 1990s, Blake worked part-time in light assembly while also concentrating on physical rehab, swimming and three-wheel bicycling, as well as his writing — letters, journals, short stories and poems. In 2003, Blake was recognized as a hero by then Florida Governor Jeb Bush for his role in the dramatic rescue of an elderly drowning victim. In 2008, he underwent the first in a series of three brain surgeries to regain his hearing via cochlear implants. This is his first book.

For more information on No Frills Buffalo publishing, please visit www.nfbpublishing.com. You can also follow No Frills Buffalo on Facebook for frequent updates.

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