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PRAISE for THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT BEING AN EPISCOPALIAN
Ron Starbuck is poet who has taken to heart and soul the teaching in Psalm 46, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Spoken in the voice of a deep listener, who seeks to embrace all souls in the Mystery of God’s Love, who seeks to heal the breach. These poems are ecumenical both in that they are unifying and in the etymological root of the word, which is derived from the Greek word for house. Here is poetry that beautifully and prayerfully makes of the world a home where all of us may dwell.
~ Aliki Barnstone, University of Missouri
Ron Starbuck has written a work of extraordinary vision and prophecy; this is a book of both profound reverence and a song of contemporary liturgy. It is a masterpiece that will transform the belief and devotion of all who experience these lines, either verbally or literally. Without doubt, this is a great work for the new Twenty-First Century.
~ Kevin McGrath, Harvard University
Praise for SAVOR ETERNITY
Alfred K. LaMotte is truly the rarest kind of alchemist. With each poem in this exquisite collection, he weaves ordinary words into pure gold, inducting the reader into a direct experience of the sublime ineffability of life itself. Sourced from the depths of his own awakened heart, his words will pierce straight through to your own tender heart, igniting and awakening you. LaMotte stands with Rilke, Rumi, and Hafiz in beckoning our souls to awaken. Let each poem be a mystery that you discover and savor as you would a lover.
~ TINA M. BENSON, international bestselling author of A Women Unto Herself: A Different Kind of Love Story
The poetry of Alfred K. LaMotte speaks to my soul of long lost love, and redeems my heart from a fall that I cannot even remember. Somehow he makes the total mystery of existence feel all right.
~ Susanne Marie, meditation guide and founder of Transformation Through Presence TM
Inside this poetry is the deep perfume of God, a vast pool of light and pure generosity. Here are bees, honey, and simplicity of Being. That is why every time we read his poetry, we are nourished, uplifted, and we never tire of reading them again and again.
~ Guthema Roba, poet, author of Please Come Home and Wake Up and Roar
Alfred K. LaMotte's writing simply and actively opens the heart, inspiring and enlightening without ever a heavy-handed word of preaching or lecture. In pure authenticity and elegant vulnerability, he writes with the clear heart of a true meditation teacher, and shows us the way
~ Dian Lang, Author of Opening to Meditation, Huffington Post columnist, and director of LifeWorks Center for Growth in Los Angeles TM.
This is a stunning and prophetic book, courageous in its commitment to the living milk of the Mother, disturbing our complacency and our stagnant idealization of who She is or how She must appear. These poems joyously report that here, and right here, is where we taste the cardinal fulfillment of our essential nature. The Feminine, as a psychic force, reaches far beyond biological sex, and thus cannot be wholly claimed by the female voice (tempting as this might be after centuries of inequality and abuse.) In his new book, Alfred K. LaMotte speaks from a breadth and wholeness that is the undeniable sign of Her presence. These poems help us see that the creaturely and the divine are not eternally set apart: they can be recognized as a single gesture of invitation to a much finer, more generous participation in the real.
~ Britt Posmer, painter, performance artist and poet, author of The Angel and the Heretic
Praise for Coat Thief
Like walking meditations, the poetic feet of Jeffrey Davis's Coat Thief invoke mindfulness through grounded, regular movement. Profoundly attuned to the beauty of daily existence, these poems upend and expand conventional perceptions of magnitude as they give prominence to sneaker prints, earthworms, egg cartons, and other often unnoticed objects. These are poems filled with wonder, poems that demonstrate over and over that we need not rely on esoteric experience for transcendence–because it is, we learn from Coat Thief, the ordinary that is most extraordinary. Yes! It is possible for poetic feet to connect our soles and souls more intimately to the earth, and with Davis, the closer we are to the earth, the closer we are to the divine.
~ Melissa Studdard, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast
The quiet moments of a life can be the most revealing and yet the ones we pay attention to least. Jeffrey Davis slows down the mind- camera in Coat Thief to linger in those moments with a focus always rich with compassion, empathy, and physical touch. I love his intention. I love his sound.
~ Kazim Ali, Sky Ward
We are accustomed to poems that seek political change by deploying fierce urgency and by speeding up time to get us moving toward progress. But if the poems in Jeffrey Davis's Coat Thief are good evidence, then the most effective, and affective, poems of change may be those poems that slow time down and bless us with moments in which we are able to perceive emotional complexes in instants of time, moments that leave us stupendously awake in the dark: an earthworm churning through the detritus of civilizations; wasting your morning speaking to a blue stone that is just beginning to hear you; a mother and the child kicking inside her with a god's foot.
~ Brian Clements, author of Disappointed Psalms and A Book of Common Rituals
Praise for FUEGO
Fuego is full of fire, of the passionate intensity of creation in the face of great odds – the intensity of difficult pregnancies and childbirth and all-consuming motherhood, of the immigrant student who struggles to write his first sentences in English, the child who falls from her bike and gets up again and again, the long- distance swimmer trying to swim to Antarctica, all of them stand-ins, I think, for the artist who struggles to make something meaningful from language in the midst of life, which is to say in the midst of death. This Leslie Contreras Schwartz has done in her debut collection, and hers is a distinctive and welcome new voice in American poetry.
~ Susan Wood, Gladys Louise Fox Professor Emerita of English at Rice University, author of Asunder, National Poetry Series selection 2001
Leslie Contreras Schwartz's Fuego is filled with the power of things, floods that bring both destructive power and promise of new life, televisions that bring awful news, a small child's naming of clouds. Like Plath's most tender poems, Schwartz's debut collection uses the minutiae of everyday living to create a world where even in the darkest times, light finds a way to come “from under / the shade, / light from under / the door. ”
~ Amanda Auchter, author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of 2013 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry