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How Time Moves: New and Selected Poems brings together over thirty years of Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's explorations of what it means to be human in a particular place, time, body, history, and story. "She is our teacher speaking from the sky, from the field, from the heartland," writes Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford of this stirring new collection. "Like William Blake’s 'doors of perception,' these pages lead readers inward and outward at once," writes Denise Low, past poet laureate of Kansas. The collection also includes poetry from Mirriam-Goldberg's previous six collections: Following the Curve, Chasing Weather, Landed, Animals in the House, Reading the Body, Lot's Wife.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including Miriam's Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, poetry. Her previous work includes The Divorce Girl, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community; and six poetry collections, including the award-winning Chasing Weather with weather chaser/photographer Stephen Locke. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely.
A Note From the Publisher
Photographer and artist Tony Peterson explains, “My work doesn’t fit neatly into any particular category, however, the nature of structures and the structures of nature are a common theme. The focus is often on particular elements of light, pattern, or color rather than a documentation of the object or scene itself. Periodically when I’m drawn to a subject I’m not entirely sure at the moment what attracted me. It’s only after I’ve photographed it that my eyes can see what my mind did. Consequently, much of my photography has to be visually explored because there are often elements not immediately obvious.” A native of Little River, Peterson moved to Lawrence in 1982 to attend KU. After earning a degree in Journalism he worked in the non-profit and human service field for 25 years before returning to his lifelong interest in art and photography.
“Those familiar with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s verse know the humor, the inventiveness, and the revelations. Her How Time Moves: New and Selected Poems samples generously from all of her books, a span of twenty-five years. The new poems show a master poet at work, as in 'Thresholds,' where story and song blend to create a further dimension, where 'all the gears of blossom / keep turning, all the doors continually open wide.' Like William Blake’s 'doors of perception,' these pages lead readers inward and outward at once. Congratulations to her for this stupendous book!”
—Denise Low, 2007-09 Kansas Poet Laureate, Shadow Light: Poems, Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award
“This poet testifies her tug of kinship to feral storms, kitchen appliances, crows, the pluck of old ladies, helpless love, and other denizens of the wide world brought living to her pages. Drawn from twenty-five years of lyric devotion, Caryn brings this harvest to Meadowlark Books in a collection with gifts for everyone: blessing, consolation, self-portrait, field guide, yoga gesture, biblical telling, song, memory, spell. She is our teacher speaking from the sky, from the field, from the heartland.”
—Kim Stafford, Oregon Poet Laureate & author of Wild Honey, Tough Salt
“Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is a generous and insightful poet, brave in her candor and ever awake to the world around her, ready for all the truth it can offer her each day. In Mirriam-Goldberg's poetry, even cancer becomes epiphany, an occasion of ecstatic awakening. This is the real work of a poet—to see and speak the often-hidden truths of a human life in a way that enlightens and informs. In the cumulative power of her new and selected poems, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg accomplishes this with grace, insight, courage, and unceasing wonder.”
—Patricia Traxler, author of Naming the Fires
“Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s How Time Moves enacts the largesse and endurance of the upright piano on its cover, in poems that span a life with “the urgency of living in a world on the cusp of vanishing.” True to its title, time is a paramount issue in these poems—not simply its passing, but its potential, in complicity with imagination, to invent and resurrect the future. 'From years ahead, I wait for her to turn into the future,' she writes of her great-grandmother in a Lithuanian village whose inhabitants 'will face the gun or the gas chamber,' '…and the breath/from her body that will one day be my body.' The poems extend over the decades of Mirriam-Goldberg’s extraordinary life, from her childhood in Brooklyn, 'where my fingernails formed in utero,' to the Kansas prairie. The bridge between past and future is 'a freeway of stars,' and wind, and breath, and always, for Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poetry.”
—Diane Seuss, author of Four-Legged Girl and Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
“In How Time Moves, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg offers us a magical gift: a compilation of new and selected poems, rich with memory and meaning. 'Expect to be startled,' the poet tells us. And we are. Mirriam-Goldberg’s distinctive voice is a steadying hand on the shoulder, as she gently steers us through her treasured Kansas landscape, or turns our gaze toward the faces of her beloveds. The poet reminds us that 'the holy does not play by our rules,' then deftly proceeds to make all things holy: her prayers tucked into Ponderosa pines, cranes who stencil the sky, clouds of tilted silver, the lingering touch of a lover or child. Through her brilliant mastery of craft and and ever-present compassion, Mirriam-Goldberg offers us a wise, humorous, breathtakingly diverse glimpse into her world—as well as the world of our shared human experience. As the poet tenderly says: 'I want to know this song that breaks the mouths / of humans.' Her own song is one of piercing honesty and exuberant hope, a rare voice in a fractured world. How Time Moves lingers long in the heart and mind, an enduring reminder of the deep and lasting power of poetry.'”
—Joy Roulier Sawyer, author of Lifeguards and Tongues of Men and Angels
“Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg admonishes us: 'All the songs you love will return like an old cat. // Expect to be startled.' Believe her. How Time Moves is the glimmering songbook of her poetic oeuvre—a single volume containing a book’s worth of new work in four chapters along with choice excerpts from each of her previous six poetry volumes. Here, time becomes both particle ('…the brown bricks chipped / by time and the stress of lasting') and wave: 'The friend you love is all ashes now / waiting for you and others to scatter. // The ideas you have about time or what’s right / are lighter than all that ash.' Amidst the tumult of time's flow, there are also introspective interludes: 'Place a wintered leaf / of your old thoughts / on a flat rock. Wait. // Watch what the pine, an arrow / of desire for the sun, does with time…' It is the universality of time’s passage joined with the specificity and intimacy Mirriam-Goldberg uses to illumine and delineate her own times that make this a rare book to cherish, a consummate gift of grace.'”
—Roy Beckemeyer, author of Mouth Brimming Over
“For Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, witnessing often means 'dwelling in what we don’t know.' How Time Moves, her stellar new omnibus, allows us to witness a world redolent of possibility, a half-known world in which we can fling ourselves across the dewy air to discover we can fly. Caryn writes, 'to be awake enough in any place is . . . to hear what sings beneath the human-made world.' Layer upon layer of this book houses new and sometimes familiar friends who find each other in the cleansing light of the wind. And if this new collection is indeed a type of house, it is surely a great tree that sings boldly from below our human doings, 'its arms holding up rooms full of birds.'”
—Tyler Robert Sheldon, Editor-in-Chief of MockingHeart Review and author of Driving Together