Books

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The Scattering of Saints explores the many ways we are separate — from nature, from self, from each other, and from the transcendent; yet also how we seek to remain as fellow travelers, pilgrims and saints, who still kiss firmly / destined to arrive someplace holy. Each poem is a numinous thread in a shared fabric of kindness and fun, compassion and humor, and part of an often hilarious world where Richard Brautigan, Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry won’t let the poet sleep, and a world in which the value of the divine plummets to where we … cannot trade / a saint for a cup of coffee / nor an angel for a
donut. Overall, these are poems of grace, so that it’s okay if, like the poet, you wonder at finding yourself … last in line / and all the Jesus powers / are gone / Except for the power / to curse fig trees.

Judith Ferster’s Songs of the Ovenbird finds patterns in the particular that
bind us to orders we make and orders beyond our making. This is a book
that celebrates poetry’s tradition of song making with exemplary poise,
but Ferster’s vision is not one that celebrates the singer so much as the
song, and the strange world the song comes from. As she notes, “There
is no center.” Imagine a book that is as sharp-eyed about the minute
particulars of nature and the self as it is clear-eyed about the universe
of neutrinos and dark matter, a universe in which she, like all of us,
are not at the center but decentered. Ferster’s book discovers grace in offcenteredness,and in so doing creates a wonderful instance of lyric grace.
Jon Thompson, Editor Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry
& Poetics Free Verse Editions Illuminations: A Series
on American Poetics, Department of English, North Carolina State University

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In this beautiful book, Nancy Harmon Womack confronts the challenge of every poet—to explore grief and sorrow with the truth of a lived experience while avoiding cliché or sentimentality. The grief is bone-real and everywhere—in the streams and hawks and galax, in all the shades of blue, on the hiking trail and on the island of Mykonos. It is in the protractor left in the drawer alongside a piece of the moon. This collection asks the natural world how to live through loss, even the ferns that grow along the trail, but they won’t tell.” Womacks poems are filled with images chiseled sharp enough to wound, but dont despair because the speaker triumphs in a coda of passion and fire, to be reborn.
Kathy Ackerman, winner of the Lena Shull Poetry Book Award for A Quarrel of Atoms

To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/

 

Armature

http://www.hofferaward.com/da-Vinci-Eye-finalists.html

*Finalist for the Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye Book Award.

Armature by Melinda Thomsen –Armature renders a portrait of Melinda Thomsen’s struggle with her “whys.”  For example, why does the great blue heron show more perseverance in its toils and exhibit more purpose and grace than most of us? Why does a dwarf plumbago thrive in such an unwelcoming place like a crack in a sidewalk?  Why can a whirligig’s squeaking teach us how to accept our meager efforts at living?  As Thomsen leads us in her queries, she follows Degas’s dancer as her guide. The collection’s poems illustrate the four castings as the dancer transforms into a more finished piece.  Along the way, her search uncovers glimpses of gratitude that lurk deep within our interior. Like the dancer, life throws Thomsen through more revision. As Emily Dickinson says, “That soundless tugs – within- /Refining these impatient Ores / With Hammer, and with Blaze / Until the Designated Light / Repudiate the Forge-.”  Thomsen wrestles her  “whys” with accurate, descriptive language to face metaphysical questions head on, and since “each village has its blacksmith,” this book will appeal to many readers.

To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/

 

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Showing Face by Nancy Dew Taylor –

Part memoir, part local history, part heartfelt apology, Showing Face tells a vital story that our nation would rather forget. Electric poems fix on two deeply sympathetic figures—crusading preacher Joseph Armstrong De Laine, zealously committed to action against oppression, and Belle, Mabelle Hanna McCray, Taylor’s family’s maid, forced to suppress her tormented soul in order to survive. Their ordeals intersect when De Laine, fleeing vicious bigotry in one town, becomes Belle’s minister in Lake City, SC, where terrorism against Black citizens explodes. Taylor’s lean, sculpted lines will have you smelling the lunatic smoke of burning crosses. Too many readers will admit to similar ignorance during the era of segregation, when Black lives didn’t matter to Night Riders and their protectors and didn’t matter enough to us in the pitiful middle. In the resonant title poem, Taylor captures how much Caucasians can learn from Blacks. In many ways, you will live and re-live this incandescent story.  To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/

 

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Slip by Jenny Bates

If the world’s humanity had the same love, respect and connection to the animal kingdom as author Jenny Bates, 2020 would be a much different year. In Slip, Bates smiles bravely at the night because she has written a book that speaks of ignorance, happiness and exhaustion beneath a delicate light shining on empty ruins. It is an exercise in finding what Camu reveals in his own writing, (to speak) “…with a lipless mouth…learn one last time what I know.” If one were to say this book is about love, sorrow, letting go, even letting go of change, the critique would be incomplete. Instead, it is about a little deaf, black pup who taught Bates,”I am Nothing. (and) By becoming this, his true eyes became a solid ground to walk.”We would say to each other “There is Nothing like you, there was Nothing like you, and there shall be Nothing like you. “When I slipped, he let me fall then took that solid ground with him to place under another’s steps. Yet he left me able to see in that dark.”

Slip joins Bates 2019 publication, Visitations (Hermit Feathers Press) as a work of profound observation of two souls joined, though parted, will never truly slip eternal bonds. To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/ or (click here to order from amazon)

 

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Visitations by Jenny Bates    – If your soul is on a quest to balance the myriad minutia of life in the 21st century, then poet Jenny Bates’ third collection, Visitations, is a must read.  Bates’ answers lie in the forest surrounding her home where by night the master vocals of the Barred Owl always call her to a portal of growth. By day, the Red Shouldered Hawk beckons to complete the summons, “Observe.”  Whether plant or animal, wild or domesticated, Bates’ communion with all that is not human, leads to a forgotten realm of holistic knowledge.  Divided into four sections – Trust, Serve, Wait, Hope – seventy-four poems explore the red clay of her Carolina home and the bones it holds (Be Still, Red Clay (eulogy for a homeless dog); searches for the voices of wild geese and kestrals (Jabber Walk through Wonder-land ); and “mimic compelling anthropoid gestures” in the title poem, Visitations. Through the pages of this idiomatic, metaphysical collection, a gentle relationship between the mirror selves of naturalism and fantasy charm the unfeigned reader.To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/ or from Amazon (click here to order)

 

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Now Come Hyacinths by Janet Joyner

In the Piedmont region of North Carolina, wild hyacinth is one of the first signals for the return of spring, and the new growth it signals. In legend, the flower sprang from a drop of Hyacinthus’ blood that fell from his brow when hit by a discus thrown by his lover, the god Apollo. Poets, like Eliott and Whitman, have often used flowers with slender racemes or roots as images of maleness. Janet Joyner’s fourth collection, Now Come Hyacinths, celebrates both the resilience of the natural world and natural human connections, but registers possible failure of each. While much of this volume’s fauna is distinctly midland, the poet’s native low country South Carolina is evident in such poems as The Salt Marsh and Swamp. This is Joyner at the top of her game. To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/ or from Amazon(click here to order)

 

Wahee Neck Front

 

WHAEE NECK by Janet Joyner – Every child is a hapless carrier of the epic reverberating within family generations. The boundaries of childhood become mutable, conflating the overheard with the lived, the past with the present. WAHEE NECK, Janet Joyner’s newest collection, moves like consciousness itself; outward from the individual, to the tribe, the species, and their habitats. Hers is a distinctly southern voice. And in this, her third volume, the poet guides the reader from the leaky borders of childhood toward an invasion of human and global disruptions. In her final section, Joyner contemplates the horrible possibility of annihilation of the planet. Throughout WAHEE NECK, Janet Joyner’s lyrical language challenges set patterns of sound displayed in poems of both free and more formal verse; in selections short and pithy, as well as those more lengthy and narrative. A must read for the discerning. To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/ or from Amazon (click here to order)

 

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Donna Love Wallace’s debut poetry chapbook, Between the Stones, takes the reader on a journey 1 in 8 women will experience sometime during their life: invasive breast cancer. With candor and a full range of emotion, Wallace navigates her way through disparate places and the people that occupy them: the biopsy suite, the grocery store, her closet and a tattoo parlor 350 miles from home. With sparse eloquence and artisanal attention to her craft, Donna Love Wallace is a poet’s poet.  Readers of Between The Stones will cry, laugh and celebrate a voice that chooses stoic analysis over panic; positivity in the face of pain and uncertainty; and resolute courage over defeat.  Whether or not invasive breast cancer has touched your life, great inspiration lines these pages.To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/ or from Amazon (click here to order)

Hermit Feathers Review 2020

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To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/

Hermit Feathers Review 2019

Hermit Feathers Review 2019: remarkable regional poetry and essays of remembrance

To order copies, contact Hermit Feathers Press at https://hermitfeatherspress.com/contact/

 

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