What captivates me about Earthward is the way Maureen Eppstein transforms ordinary landscapes into miraculous acts of affirmation. Turning compost becomes an opportunity to ponder death and resurrection, braiding garlic reminds us of the "pleasure taken in braiding the hair of the beloved".
This is poetry of quiet lyrical depth, that reconnects us with land and spirit. Earthward invites us to stand deeply rooted in each moment, "in awe and wild surmise at all this human brain can not yet comprehend.
-Devreaux Baker, author of Red Willow People
In Earthward, Maureen Eppstein unites what would break us with what will bring us back to life. The wild ones, like us, must eat, and so kill. Lost sisters are mourned by proxy. Some things we love are transplanted and transplanted again, surviving and sometimes thriving. The tenacity Eppstein describes is the foundation of our lives. There are those who say that to write about the extraordinary one must look lovingly at the ordinary. Eppstein knows where, and how, to look.
-Camille T. Dungy, author of Smith Blue
Comments from readers
I got to my apt., cleaned my eyeglasses (I wear them now), and read your poems. Each one was beautiful and so wise. I am so inspired by your poems, so beautiful and clear with the precision of language honed to guide the reader through glimpses of our own lives through the acts of loss, decay, and renewal. Like songs, the lyric pulls the reader to linger on the words...even the four line poem The Color of Grief shimmers with loss and birth, death and birth.-Senna Heyatawin
I particularly liked "At the Edge," the couplets of "Turning Compost on Good Friday," and the line "Past mistakes call out for forgiveness."-Kevin Arnold
The first poem drew me in with your first line : Because I could not mourn my sister's death...... Of course I have read your essay Tangi in Calyx and we have talked so I was right there with you in the poem. Beautiful! I totally enjoyed the whole book. Great poems.-Eva Cagianese
What a wonderful read! Your connection with nature comes through so clearly.-Helen Campbell
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