In death will come, poet Bill Denham attempts what is nearly impossible, coming to terms with the approaching end of life without nostalgia or sentimentality. And in this collection, he succeeds, offering his astonishing gift to the world, a testament to a life lived, suffered, and loved in open-hearted service and wonder. The poems are interrelated confessions that speak directly to Denham’s mother, to his father, to his estranged daughters. They reveal with painful, lyric candor, what it is to struggle with self-knowing in the face of death. A must read for anyone who will someday pass from this world.
This beautiful collection of poems tells its story through honest moments, both simple and shattering, reflecting a quiet redemption in which not all is lost and not all is found. – Kim Vanderheiden, owner, Painted Tongue Press
In death will come, poet Bill Denham attempts the near impossible, coming to terms with the approaching end of life without nostalgia, sentimentality, self-aggrandizement, or any of the other traps into which we mortals fall. That he succeeds so completely is his astonishing gift to the world, and a testament to a life lived, suffered, and loved in open-hearted service and wonder. A must read for anyone who will someday pass from this world. – Gary Turchin, author, Falling Home and The Healthiest Man on Earth
Honesty, struggle, and hope are words that describe Bill Denham’s poems in this collection of memories and confessions. Through the medium of poetry Denham holds up to the light stories of loss and death that in the telling become seeds of new life. “Telling stories is our most constant activity,” he writes, using the image of a Russian matryoshka doll, with our stories nesting inside the stories of our parents and their parents backward in time, yet emerging through to the present “to make a larger light against the darkness.” – Nancy Thomas, author, The Secret Colors of God and Close to the Ground
death will come is a book of poignant, interrelated poems, confessions that speak – in direct address – to the poet’s mother, his father, his estranged daughters. Grappling with knowing who he was and is, Bill Denham gives us the painful, lyric candor of someone who can hold himself “…in the light of/ that knowing/ and rejoice/ in that light.” – Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita
“Amidst this loss and sadness that lives where I live – always . . . another memory comes” (43-44): Denham’s self-elegiac poems hit you direct in the solar plexus, resonating until you find yourself awash in memory. Poignant free verse envelops you in connection, loss and the stickiness of memory. The beautiful mystery of life, even in sight of its end, is the gift of this moving collection. – Chris Morrissey