My comp copy of Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness & Connection arrived yesterday, and I’ve gotten behind on the news (thank goodness!) because I keep picking it up to read another fine poem.
As Ted Kooser says in his Preface, “Unabashed enthusiasm is the glue that holds good anthologies together,” and this book overflows with enthusiasm, kindness, tenderness and beauty.
Here are the words of well-known poets like W. S. Merwin, William Stafford, Naomi Shihab Nye and Jane Kenyon, but the book is also well-stocked with words from poets I’ve never heard of, and might never have encountered without this collection.
Ellery Akers in “The Word That is a Prayer,” reminds us of the power of “Please.” Connie Wanek shows us a Grandpa asking the sky “What’s next?” with a laugh. Carrie Shipers shows us a mother talking back to the monster under the bed. Molly Fisk celebrates “Winter Sun.”
But you need to get the book yourself, and find your own treasures within it. The world around us seems to be filled with hatred, greed, and antagonisms, and we must fight this idea in every way at our disposal, for our own health and survival. One way to do it is to read this book, again and again and again. And please– buy it from your local bookstore, and help them stay in business during these difficult economic times.
Linda M. Hasselstrom
Windbreak House Writing Retreats
Hermosa, South Dakota
© 2020, Linda M. Hasselstrom
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Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness & Connection
Edited by James Crews
Green Writers Press, 2019
My poem “Planting Peas” is included in this anthology. You can read more about this poem than you would think possible, on my website.