|Bone Road by Geraldine Mills|
Simply put: this is an extraordinary book of leave taking and home coming.
The lyric poems are collaged into a moving narrative of one family's journey. And while Bone Road documents the story of Geraldine Mills' great-grandparents leaving the west coast of Ireland in 1882-84 with assistance of the Tuke Fund, this also can't help but echo peoples around the globe who are forced to leave home due to famine, war, and poverty.
The twist in this history is that the family returns to Ireland. The faux gold of New England does not hold the family. They return to Ireland just as impoverished as when they left. What is that pull called home? Untumble the walls of the house / Uprise its lintel from the overgrowth /...Unbreak the heart.
Note: Geraldine Mills was scheduled to give a reading in Seattle for Highline College and Elliott Bay Books in April 2020. We have postponed her visit to post pandemic.
|Asking the Form by Hilary Sallick|
Hilary Sallick is a poet whom I've been reading since the 1990's so I'm thrilled to hold this book in my hands. This is Hilary Sallick's first full length collection, Asking the Form, published just a couple of months ago. Rumor has it that the launch party (just shy of the pandemic) was a fabulous, well attended affair. The kind we can only dream about attending now. How I wish I had been there in Somerville that night.
The poems here are filled with piano notes and guinea pigs (one guinea pig, actually); the birth of children and the quietude of the mind. Her work reminds me of Jane Hirshfield and Jane Kenyon combined --- if they lived in Somerville, Massachusetts. This is the kind of book that comes most alive in the solitary moments that we have right now. And if you don't have quiet hours with your cats, this book will make you feel that you do.