Pieces of Air in the Epic
By Brenda Hillman
Wesleyan Press 2005

“Eclectic, mercurial, sensuous, and luminescent,” are a few of the words used on the Web site of the Academy of American Poets to describe the poetry of Brenda Hillman, the Olivia Filippi chair in poetry at Saint Mary’s College. Her new book fits right in, as it explores the element of air through meditations on nature, politics and culture. Even the arrangement of the poems on the page unexpectedly places air between words and lines, between thoughts and reflections. Pieces of Air in the Epic is the second of four books (Cascadia was her first) devoted to the elements—earth, air, water, and fire.

Poet Carol Muske-Dukes says, “I recommend this book to all who doubt poetry’s capacity to reinvent itself. Hillman is making language dance.”

Call Home: Poems
By Judy Wells
Scarlet Tanager Books, 2005

A poem/novella is how Judy Wells, who teaches in the graduate liberal arts program at Saint Mary’s College, describes her seventh book of poetry, Call Home. Over 32 vignettes, she portrays the last days of her long-lived mother Irene, the matriarch of the Wells Irish-American clan. Through the course of her mother’s death, her funeral and the aftermath, Wells and her siblings rediscover the meaning of family. Author Bridget Connelly described Call Home as a “deeply touching tale with universal relevance.”

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