The poems of Tim Hawkins range widely in geography, tone, and style in search of the extraordinary in the things we take for granted, guided always by the desire to be both in the moment and apart from it at the same time. To read these poems is to move slowly, serenely into some distant and exotic place – yet find oneself in the comfort of home. Hawkins’ lines – characterized by deftness of phrasing, skillful craft, freshness and impact of imagery, boldness and penetration of thought, and by engagement with an impressive range of subject, form, and mood – will leave an imprint on your heart.
Bower Lodge journeys inward to a wild landscape of joy, grief, and transformation. By turns mournful, meditative, incantatory, and rejoicing, this collection’s fresh, potent images and unforgettable, musical language carves a map into that hidden, holy world that lies deep at the core of our own. Likely to please fans of William Stafford, Robert Bly, Mary Oliver, and Nate Klug.
“Begin here,” says Bethany Lee, in her inspirational new collection, Etude for Belonging. “Now is the time for us to take courage.” And as you answer this invitation, you will find courage indeed, here among musings on galaxies and trillium, shipwrecks and spinning wheels, here where there is room for broken hearts, for healing, and for hope.
These poems begin in familiar surroundings: newspaper clippings, snippets of history, Bible stories, and scenes embedded in our psyches such as an elementary school hallway. Their fulfillment, though, crosses into a place where Charles Darwin apologizes to Adam in Eden, or chants Jabberwocky to himself. A place where the stonemasons who build a cathedral abstain from swearing, and that abstinence is felt as a palpable blessing centuries later. A place where two patients who share a hospital room also share a clipboard with mingled notes for doctors and chaplains.
Pax is a book of peace, a book of love poems to the world. The poems within these pages ask us to wake to our own remarkable lives and our undeniable connections, to look with a steady eye at the demands of love. Whether considering insects, the soul, or the ghosts and thoughts that haunt us, this book insists that there is no reason to turn away. Let us redefine love and wreckage, time and weeds, it fearlessly states. Pax is that rare welcoming book that speaks to us like a wry and knowing old friend.
Like deep breaths drawn effortlessly in, the poems and images of Insistent Grace are satisfying to the core. Filled with the aromas of salt fog, summer grass, redwood creeks, eucalyptus, and bay, they weave together the human and the more-than-human worlds. In the time of global pandemic and climate crisis, Elizabeth Herron evokes Mother Nature’s insistent grace – a power that compels respect and can help us heal ourselves and our planet – if we are resolute.
Poet and singer, minstrel of hog-killing and connoisseur of barbecue, memoirist of affectionately named hogs, of family, work, and love – Shelby is a storyteller who can touch you like a sad Carter Family lyric or an old gospel song.
Charles Middleberg is a Holocaust survivor. But when you hear his story in person, he prefers to be called a witness.
Consider the moments in this collection – a mother is buried, a son is born, Alaska melts – each event a signpost. Reflect on the signs of rest and restlessness, simplicity and complexity, life given and taken and throbbing. This is the way of faith. We watch for truth’s brilliant appearance, and in the midst of our heartbreak-while-waiting, we pray. Jeffrey Johnson’s poems listen to the angels, they sing the doxologies, they pay loving attention to life. They are prayers. They will help you feel the power of life. They will teach you to pray.
The ancient Chinese poets loved ambiguity, loved paradox, and would have loved the puzzling, reality-defying entanglements that frustrate and fascinate us today. They would have laughed at them, too, while exchanging good wine and poems with each other as they watched the moon rise and be reflected in the hundred rivers flowing through the thousand mountains surrounding them and all the ten thousand things.