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What readers are saying...
“These plain-spoken poems present a love song to life and all its daily miracles, often reveling in the splendor of the natural world. There are lamentations here, too (Most days the news presses me further into the reckoning / of the dead horse we are beating, you know the one, the drumming hoofbeats of our imminent demise), but the overall sense one gets from reading Kim Ports Parsons’ luminous collection is that the world is full of hope if only we open our minds to the possibility (See the full circle of the blossom. / And though momentary, how it glows, / how its purity washes over you, / its scent a sacred, open space).” Bill Glose, judge, 2023 PSV North American Book Award.
"From the forest floor to the stars, this world is full of wonders." ~Rebecca Foster (Read the full review on Bookish Beck here.)
"From the very beginning of The Mayapple Forest Kim Ports Parsons awakens a reader’s hope despite undeniable cause for despair, “The gifts of these months of plague and separation/ are silence and space and time…/...to be alive,/ to breathe, to wake, to hear the owl’s call/.” Poems of loss—the absence of her mother—precede poems of thrill and excitement for being with her lover, “I want to ride through this life like a child standing on the hump of an old sedan." Parsons writes with tenderness, resilience, fortitude—a trust reminiscent of Jack Gilbert’s “There will be music despite everything”—as she gently leans in and whispers, 'Don’t try to count the petals.'" ~Angela Dribben, author of Everygirl
"Kim Ports Parson is a literary craftsman. She infuses her writing with the language of someone yearning to relive blissful times. I treasure this book because of beautiful and powerful lines, such as these from "I Watch My Sister Harvest Lavender":
You walked with me across a snow-crusted field.
Your body swayed before me, shaping into a woman’s.
You cupped a wildflower in your palm and gave me its name.
I highly recommend Kim Ports Parson work for anyone who wishes to experience poetry at its very best."
~Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram, Host "Quintessential Listening"
With gratitude to the artist Frances Coates:
The cover image is taken from the painting “Mayapples,” by Frances Coates, acrylic on canvas, 25 ¾ inches by 37 ¾ inches. I worked on the title poem, “The Mayapple Forest” for three years, entranced by an image of the miniature world under the canopy of lush mayapple plants. Out walking, I'd stop by the mayapples, imagining what it would be like to walk underneath, to look up at the distant treetops through the wide, umbrella leaves. These plants spoke motherhood to me, an experience I’d lost and mourned. One day, I saw Coates' painting in a local gallery--she had painted what I had been envisioning. I’m grateful to Frances Coates for her art and her permission to use this gorgeous art for the cover. Learn more about her Frances Coates' art here.
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