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Book details
  • Genre:POETRY
  • SubGenre:Anthologies
  • Language:English
  • Pages:136
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667822082

Out of the Blue

four voices

by Dianne Shiner , Dallas Huth, Faith Wilder and Janice O'Mahony

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Each of the four skilled poets of Out of the Blue have contributed 25 poems, each their own, distinct, woven not melded. Yet the collection is the result of the alchemy of their dedicated gathering over eight years on Whidbey Island. The clarity of each voice is enhanced by the companionship of one another's poems and countless cups of tea. Whether revealing the radiant woman beneath a burka, or the wicked witch luring Hansel and Gretel; whether meditating on the terror of the creative dark, or healing from the trauma of 9/11; whether evoking homespun memories, or the view from the inside looking out as the stunning history of the year 2020 is forged, these four mixed, powerful voices share deep sadness, sardonic wit, prophetic wisdom, and occasional laugh-out-loud twists. Find a comfortable place and be taken by the strength, levity, and muscle of these poems whose counterpoint of voices becomes a symphony in the heart.
There are common threads to the poems of Out of the Blue: politics, the ever-growing losses wars have left us with, the inevitable human jump from object to memory. But each individual voice carves her own territory, approaches the apparent slowing down of life with resolutely individual wisdom. "Surely I can tell a beet from a weed" (Dallas Huth), as well as the clear-eyed paring down of "Inventory" (Janice O'Mahony), the sigh all of us islanders breathe as the ferry leaves the mainland bringing us home (Dianne Shiner), are summarized in the line "what hope is germinated here?" (Faith Wilder). These four poets lean on Nature and the long habit of attention to gift us with truths we should not forget.
About the author
The four poets of Out of the Blue come from very diverse backgrounds and different writing styles. Before we joined forces, each had worked in solitude for many years as writer, editor and critic all at the same time, one-woman shops. On Whidbey Island, lives and interests intertwine. We became known to each other as women who write. We began to meet in 2014 to share our poems and make them better. It is daunting to open one's work to another's scrutiny. Our poetry is who we are, what we see and feel, as honestly as we can present it. There is vulnerability in opening up to critique. But we discovered we were able to give absolute attention to each other's poems. Over the years, we have become good friends and more evolved writers. We understand and affirm each other. We recognize when work might be improved.Suggestions are made gently and respectfully, to deepen that poet's intention, not to flatten her voice. We have learned to speak each other's poetic languages and appreciate our various senses of esthetics. We want to make a unique voice stronger. We give a lot of affirmation and appreciation because there is never enough of that for any writer. One of us gets help eliminating superfluous first stanzas. Another sometimes puts her strongest stanza in the middle when it might be incandescent at the end. One has an ambivalent relationship with punctuation. A fourth could sometimes be less blunt. Four poets consider one poem and that poem gets better. We are grateful for the beautiful community we share and for our growth as artists.