Angel Chimes, my collection of Christmas and Advent poems, is forthcoming later in 2020 from Shanti Arts. My newest poetry book, I Call to You from Time came out in July 2019 from Wipf & Stock. My other full-length poetry collections are Practicing the World (CavanKerry, 2018) and Open Heart (Calyx Books). I am also the author of five chapbooks, most recently Wal-Mart Orchid, winner of the 2012 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize (Evening Street Press). My prose memoir The Accidental Pilgrim: Finding God and His Mother in Tuscany was published by Shanti Arts Press in 2015. I am a professor emerita from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania where I taught English and created and taught in the Women’s Studies Program. My poems and essays have appeared in such journals as Chautauqua, Prairie Schooner, Calyx, Image, The Comstock Review, The Cimarron Review, The Women’s Review of Books, Ekphrasis, Windhover, and in anthologies such as The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms (University of Nebraska Press), Claiming the Spirit Within (Beacon Press), and Nasty Women Poets. I live on the side of a mountain outside Wellsboro, PA, in the northernmost tier of the Appalachians among bears, deer, and bobcats. Today I spend my time writing, trying new things (i.e. acting in community theater productions and occasionally officiating and giving the message at Morning Prayer services) and teaching Tai Chi.
I Call to You from Time
The desire, as well as the struggle, to pray— in forms as various as psalm, Tai Chi, meditation, needlework, and bursts of gratitude—pulse through I Call to You from Time. Even the poems that are not prayers, or overtly about prayer, will, I hope, lead the reader into prayer-like contemplation. Lyric in nature, this collection express the poet’s spiritual and emotional concerns and experiences, as well as considering war, environmental devastation, and poverty as spiritual and personal, as well as political, subjects.
These poems seek to cross borders between places and times—the distant and the local, the past, present, future, and the eternal. Ekphrastic poems written in response to paintings of the Virgin Mary are echoed in poems about the poet’s own motherhood and her son’s deployments to—and woundings in—Iraq and Afghanistan. Laundry hung in a neighbor’s yard recalls Tibetan prayer flags. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe appears on a toss pillow at Wal-Mart. The Virgin Mary appears at a rest stop in Nebraska.
Although personal, social, political, and planetary brokenness are evident throughout the collection, the poems in I Call to You from Time seek to create from these shards a mosaic of meaning in which we find ourselves connected to the Divine and to one another.
Practicing the World2018
The Accidental Pilgrim: Finding God and His Mother in Tuscany2015