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Poetry Quarterly Summer 2019
Still Life, Requiem and an Egg by Marian Willmott
About the book:
Still Life, Requiem and an Egg is a collection of poems reflecting on a life in its final decades and the cyclical nature of the universe underlying the aging process. Loss, hunger and the metaphysical are interwoven with the natural world; rivers branch like the veins of the body, a scar glints like fish bones. The forests and rivers of Vermont or the ocean off Cape Cod, are tinged with elements of science, the political and the sensual; the geometry of a snowflake, a bandolier of bullets, ocean’s salty tongue. These are poems of contemplation. Marian Willmott writes in the poem River 1, “I write to listen, to feel its power in my bones, to feel what I cannot know.”
About the poet:
Marian Willmott is an artist and writer living in Vermont, enjoying both the solitude of the mountains and a vital artistic community. She received a BA in psychology and painting in 1968 from Goddard College and an MFA in painting in 1987 from Goddard College and the Vermont Studio Center, working with oil paints, primarily focused on landscapes. She began writing poetry in high school but it wasn’t until 1999 that she began to focus and develop a writing practice. She now enjoys the balance and interaction of both forms of expression. She worked part time as an art teacher in the public schools, balancing a family of three children and her creative pursuits. She’s now retired from teaching.
Much of her writing begins in nature, usually with a ‘free write’ – writing to see what emerges. Often it takes some time before reaching words that resonate and are deeply felt. It is a matter of discovering what she has to say and then honing in on it, expanding or fine tuning it, based on a feeling/intuitive response. She strives to stay present to the mystery we are a part of and deepen the encounter.
Her work has been published in Calyx, Salamander, the Denver Quarterly, The Worchester Review, The Louisville Review, Karamu, and The Comstock Review, among other journals and in an anthology, Unbearable Uncertainty. In 2014, a poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Turnings, a poetry chapbook, was published by Pudding House Publications in December 2007.
Praise for Still Life, Requiem and an Egg:
"The poems in this collection are as honest and personal as they are contemplative and profound. How might a man begin to understand what it is to be a woman. How might anyone experience what it is to be this human, to endure her challenges and share her joys. In the opening “River” series, the poet invites readers to abide with her, beside and within the river that is at once her history, her own body, and a body of water in revealing intimacy. And in Part 2 poems of love and compassion for the woes of others. These are the keen observations of an accomplished painter, drawn with elegant imagery, restraint, and deft turns of phrase. Grief is a part, and also patience with the life and the writing. I look forward to more poems by Marian Willmott." ~Daniel Lusk, author of The Shower Scene from Hamlet, The Vermeer Suite, and other books
"In this lovely chapbook, Marian Wilmott weaves a place in her world with stories of family, tending, and reclamation. Like the movement in the rivers that make up the first section, the poems here have an undercurrent of clarity and elements of surprise. Connections to earth layer through the later poems. Here the natural world anchors extraordinary images as the poet lives the ordinary, intermingling the erotic with the everyday. These are certainly poems to be savored slowly." ~Patricia Fontaine, author of Lifting My Shirt and editor of Healing Art & Writing: Using Creativity to Meet Illness
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