Synopses & Reviews
This engaging anthology on the theme of home includes twenty personal essays and nearly eighty poems from a wide variety of social and cultural perspectives, as unique and diverse as the authors who have written them. Herein is previously uncollected writings by Joseph Bruchac, Jane Yolen, Marge Piercy, Naomi Shihab Nye, Roberta Hill, Mark Vinz, and many others.
In a world of increasing change and mobility, these writings explore our most fundamental concerns for self-identity: what is our home, where have we come from, who am I?
From "The House Made of Words":
Some day I will havea house made of words.It will be all windows and doors,with the words placed in rows,each one leading to the next,the way the presentwears the face of the past.
Jim Perlman is the founding editor and publisher of Holy Cow! Press.
Deborah Cooper is the author of Under the Influence of Lilacs (Clover Valley Press, 2010). She is the 2012-14 Poet Laureate of Duluth, Minnesota.
Mara Hart writes memoir in prose and poetry. Her book, Lovecraft's New York Circle, was published in 2007 by Hippocampus Press.
Pamela Mittlefehldt is a poet and mystery writer. She is working on a collection of essays about the meaning of place.
Home is one of the great themes of literature, of human beings, of the animal kingdom altogether. Odysseus finds his way home to Penelope, and arctic terns fly thousands of miles to return to their nesting grounds. The main danger for authors exploring this primal subject is sentimentality; the writers anthologized here, however, remember that home is not only our refuge and snug harbor but also a place where we get bored, abused, battered, and bent. It couldn't be more important: home often seems, indeed, 'the heart of all that is.' At the very least, it's a place where we can learn, in Susan Elbe's memorable phrase, 'to shoot this tin-can loneliness / off fence posts.' Farzana Marie points out that a poem is a kind of house, and it's true of the essays here, too. Come on in. Make yourself at home.”--Bart Sutter, author of The Reindeer Camps
The Minneapolis Tribune, November 3rd, 2013:
"All lyrical, some whimsical, several dark and many hopeful, the almost 100 works included in The Heart of All That Is” show the many and varied sides of home,” which can both protect and imprison, contain amazement and abuse, and be as much a state as a place....Taken in small hunks or all at once, the works in The Heart of All That Is” are readable, sincere, sometimes disturbing, but always engaging."
Saint Paul Pioneer Press, November 3rd, 2013:
"The heartwarming, sometimes disturbing and highly readable anthology is divided into sections in which the idea of home is approached in different ways: The Amber Wilds of Childhood, Folded Maps of the Past, Far and Away From Home, Looking Back at Home, Seeking Shelter, Where Rain Returns and the Contours of Private Geography."--Mary Ann Grossmann
A compelling, culturally diverse gathering of personal essays and poetry that explores "What, where is our home?"
An international group of well-established writers have been brought together by the exchange program Writers in Motion: Fall and Recovery to reflect on America’s still open wounds from unresolved crises and vast troubling legacies. For ten days the visiting writers, all of whom had written on large-scale disasters in other contexts, were steeped in ongoing American problems and wrote on topics stretching from the Civil War to the BP oil spill, the Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina. The results have been gathered together in this collection which will take readers into those same wounds through the calm eyes of engaged, concerned guests. Thought provoking experiences are shared that suggest that there is a greater strength, an inspiring strength, in admitting that the U.S must persevere through social tensions.
About the Author
JIM PERLMAN's first home was in Minneapolis where his interest in poetry began in high school. In 1977, after editing various local literary magazines, he founded Holy Cow! Press. He edited the poetry anthology Brother Songs: A Male Anthology of Poetry (1979) and, with Ed Folsom and Dan Campion, co-edited Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (1981, rev. ed., 1997). He and his family moved to Duluth, Minnesota in 1988, where he co-founded the Spirit Lake Poetry series, and helped establish the Duluth poet laureate project in 2005. With co-editors Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, and Pamela Mittlefehldt, Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude was published in 2009.
DEBORAH COOPER has been writing poetry for over twenty years and has worked collaboratively with visual artists, musicians and dancers. She and her husband, Joel, who is a printmaker, have exhibited their collaborative images throughout the Midwest. Deborah co-edited the anthology Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude (Holy Cow! Press) and she frequently teaches writing classes for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. She also teaches Sacred Poetry classes, and mentors inmates at the St Louis County Jail. Deborah is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Under the Influence of Lilacs published by Clover Valley Press. She is 2012-2014 the Duluth Poet Laureate.
MARA HART has been a university librarian, has taught English and Women's Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and has been a poetry editor of three literary periodicals. She writes memoirs in poetry and prose, teaches memoir writing, edits, and mentors writers. She edited Lovecraft'sd New York Circle published by Hippocampus Press, New York, in 2007, and was a co-editor of Beloved on the Earth, published by Holy Cow! Press. Her most recent book, So Many Lovely Days, was published by Kirk Press in 2013.
PAMELA MITTLEFEHLDT is a poet, writer, editor, and fiddler who has found home in Duluth, Minnesota. She is Professor Emerita of American Studies/Community Studies at St. Cloud State University, where she taught courses on place, diversity, sustainable communities, and creativity. She is revising a mystery, working on a collection of essays about the meaning of place, and beginning a cross-genre project on the body as place. The focus of her work is on the power of story to transform our lives as individuals and as communities.