Conjured from Dust by Rosalyn Driscoll
This collection of poems by sculptor and poet Rosalyn Driscoll includes eight photographs of details of her sculptures. Weaving word and image, Conjured from Dust crosses thresholds to join intimacy and interiority with transcendence.
Rosalyn Driscoll is a poet and sculptor whose poetry has received awards, been published in journals, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. This is her first book of poetry.
The sea gives birth,
then swallows hard.
Accepts light, then refuses it.
Wind swims through the air
as man and woman, limbs tangled,
cloak billowing, mirroring Venus
who is naked but for her hands.
The painter conjures flesh from dust,
silk from fur, blossoms in the sky.
Turns waves into musical notes
the ear can only imagine
and the eye, the eye invents itself.
Driscoll's ground-breaking sculpture, which explores the body and the senses, has been exhibited nationally and internationally and received awards from the Dartington Hall Trust, UK, New England Foundation for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. She is a member of Boston Sculptors Gallery and Sensory Sites, an international collective of artists who make multisensory collaborative installations.
Driscoll's deep engagement with the body, touch and perception has led to presenting worldwide at conferences for neuroscientists, engineers, philosophers, designers, art historians and people involved with the body and with disabilities. She has written numerous essays for books and journals.
Forged Light by Margaret Lloyd
"I’ve always been impressed by the consistent high quality of Margaret Lloyd’s poems. The matter is always substantial, and always accompanied by her excellent craft. She has a distinctive voice, but in addition the voice is supple….The poems are nuanced beyond themselves. They create a lasting resonance. They produce an oddness that works as a shadow and multiplier of something elusive and foreign under the decorum."
—Jack Gilbert, author of Collected Poems, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry
"In Margaret Lloyd’s new collection, Forged Light, she moves effortlessly between classical, biblical, and Welsh myth and the world where we now live. Each informs the other, breathing life into the past, refreshing it, while making us see the present in different ways, as in the moving series of poems on the death of her mother. The poetry is also there in Margaret Lloyd's evocative paintings, which set the scene for each section, making Forged Light her finest collection yet."
—John Barnie, author of Trouble in Heaven, long-listed for the Wales Book of the Year for poetry
"In Forged Light, the poet illuminates deeply human stories and age-old narratives that are to be acknowledged, embraced, suffered, and endured. Lloyd’s earth is archetypal, mythic, and eternal: in one moment we are the hunter Diana, and in the next, Thomas Cole promising heaven. Exiled from grace, the job of the poet is singular. She becomes like Calypso, who gave Odysseus the tools and wood to make a boat. 'The demand was not only to let him go, but to provide/the means to go—the raft of trees that carried him/over the broad back of the sea towards home.'"
— Richard Jones, author of The Blessing, New and Selected Poems, editor of Poetry East
West Kennet Long Barrow
A cow rubs her ear against an oak tree
near the mouth of the Kennet River.
I am tired but Catrin takes me by my arm
up to the long barrow on a path winding
between fields of wheat. We stand where over
and over for a thousand years bones were placed
and then taken away. I have read that people
who know they will die in days sing differently
from those who will die in weeks. We know little
of these people whose bones rested here—how they hunted
with yew bows as long as themselves the animals
which were also their gods; or if they stopped
in their running, mouths open, gasping for breath
because of love; or sang in a particular way
close to death every day of their lives.
Margaret Lloyd was born in Liverpool, England of Welsh parents and grew up in a Welsh community in central New York State. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Lloyd received a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds, England, studying under Geoffrey Hill.
A widely published poet, Lloyd’s work has appeared in several anthologies and in national and international journals. She published a critical book on William Carlos Williams’ poem Paterson (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press), which is now considered seminal in the field. Alice James Books published her first poetry book, This Particular Earthly Scene, and Plinth Books published her second collection of poems, A Moment in the Field: Voices from Arthurian Legend.
Lloyd received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the creation of critical editions and translations of poems written by a medieval Welsh woman. She was the Margaret Bridgman Fellow in Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, received the Vachel Lindsay Poetry Award for the best poem published in Willow Springs, a National Poetry Series commendation, and several Pushcart Prize nominations. She twice received a fellowship to Hawthornden Castle, an International Retreat for Writers in Scotland. In 2008, she was granted a writing residency at Yaddo where she began her third collection of poems, Forged Light, published by Open Field Press (2013). A painter, as well as a poet, Lloyd lives in Florence, Massachusetts.
The Land Has Its Say by Henry Lyman
“Henry Lyman writes a clear uncluttered line, free of the self-conscious poetics so common today, lines that shape their meaning as the body of the poem tightens and the wonder of its story reveals itself. There are poets whose work one can gallop through and others who demand a bit more of us; poems to be taken ever further in as they gradually engage the mysteries and casualties of life. Lyman stands tall in this second category.”
– Jeffrey Lent, author of In the Fall
“This is a profound and necessary book. Each poem and each section is a discrete entity but all fit together into a single meditation. We commune with the depth of a pebble, the extensiveness of the globe and the whole inheritance of our forebears back to the earliest humans and earlier still.”
– John Freeman, author of A Suite for Summer
“With these poems, Lyman builds us a house of strict architecture, and made to last. It is a house we are compelled to enter again and again, to sit down and feast at the table of them. To eat of them, to savor, as each word was savored in the making.”
– Kevin Goodan, author of Upper Level Disturbances
“The poems are so natural, so acute, so fluent, so at home with themselves, so deeply inhabited.”
– Baron Wormser, author of Scattered Chapters: New and Selected Poems
In the Fields
Nothing interrupts the voices in the old field,
where yesterday the wind was, which now is only
wind again and no one in the grass that whispers
always here as with the voices of so many, choirs
invisible we call them, these voices in the fields
that whisper even now when there is no wind blowing,
here where nothing ends and where whatever passes is,
where the scripture of the wind might once have been
a Sunday full of children or was always just that odd
small circle dance of windblown grasses in the sunlight.
Henry Lyman’s work has appeared in The Nation, New England Watershed, The New York Times, Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, and other periodicals. The Elizabeth Press published two of books of his translations from the Estonian poetry of Aleksis Rannit. He edited Robert Francis’s new and uncollected poems Late Fire, Late Snow and an anthology of New England poetry, After Frost, both published by The University of Massachusetts Press. From 1976 to 1994 he hosted and produced Poems to a Listener, a nationally distributed radio series of readings and conversation with poets. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Half-Life of Passion by Missy-Marie Montgomery
"This is a masterful, stunning collection—sharp, lyrical, wise, tender—a testament to the transformative project of poetry."
– Carol Potter, author of Some Slow Bees
"In Missy-Marie Montgomery’s poetry, the 'I' becomes a setting where human experience unfolds, the result an invitation to accompany the narrator as she discovers and explores eros within grief, the half-life of passion. We enter what is missing, what remains, and what rises out of loss and longing."
– Jack Ridl, author of Losing Season
"Grounded in the flesh, these poems are an uncompromising encounter with reality. Yet each is underpinned with tenderness and seeks a grace that at times approaches the sacramental. . . . Never sentimental or dogmatic, poems in Half-Life of Passion are songs of compassion for human longing, human dreams that go unfulfilled. Ultimately, this powerful and moving collection of poems reminds us that in spite of family and other intense human connections, each person is finally left alone with their need, their desire. Montgomery explores the risk inherent in daring to love and shows in seeking succor, the heart can harm itself, but finally her poems teach the heart how to find its center."
– Vivian Shipley, author of All of Your Messages Have Been Erased
There’s a blue girl walking around in my mind
and I like to listen to her tiny audible sighs.
She thinks she’s in a foreign landscape
and has lost her way.
Perhaps it feels like a dream to her—peopled
with faces from the past,
and an odd juxtaposition
of vehicles with their doors open,
water everywhere, and the constant feeling
of something left undone.
When she gets out
she’ll get a dog
who will lay his head on her legs as she sleeps.
She means to sleep again cleanly,
undaunted by the way this world and the next
bleed into each other. She’s trying to remember
where that opening was.
Missy-Marie Montgomery is Professor of English and Humanities at Springfield College. Her work has appeared in over twenty-five literary magazines, including Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Poetry International, Rattle, Pearl, Cimarron Review, and Crab Orchard Review. Her chapbook, The Blue Gate, was published in 2009 by Pudding House Press.