In this debut poetry collection by an award-winning fiction writer, the longing for God and the poignancy of family life echo each other’s music. The traditional forms of sonnet, sestina, and villanelle punctuate more modern verse forms, this combination being only one of the strands binding past and present. Many of these poems may be read as confessions—of joy, of hurtfulness given or received, of awe at the inescapable reality of love. This volume comprises spiritual writing that remains firmly of this world, part apostasy, part song, reaching out for meaning from both the shifting landscape of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and the interior places of the heart.
“Orem’s poems are tender, brave, and searching. Ranging widely in form and tone, the poems explore the landscape of relationship and loss in language that is emotionally compelling and spiritually rigorous. There is no answer in these poems, but there is hope—the hope of looking closely, without flinching; the hope in the questioning itself.”
—WENDY MNOOKIN, author of Dinner with Emerson
- 2017 Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize, Emerging Poet