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INTO THE WIDE AND STARTLING WORLD (New Women's Voices Series, No. 88) Paperback – 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Finishing Line Press (2012)
  • ISBN-10: 162229033X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1622290338
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When my daughter graduated from college, our family gift to her was a trip to the Sawtooth Mountains and the River of No Return, in central Idaho. She had seen a series of photographs of the region and its people, taken by the photographer Susan McPhee , and had been so moved by the landscape and faces that she vowed to get there someday. From my point of view, this was an excellent gift, because I got to go with her. The picture above was taken outside the town of Stanley, after a week at the Diamond D ranch, a hidden gem of a guest ranch inside the Frank Church Wilderness Area, the largest wilderness area in the lower forty-eight. I look sad because we were leaving the next day, and I knew I would miss the beauty and the people.
Art isn't required to serve some useful function, but despite itself, it often does. A photography show drew my daughter and me to Idaho for one of the great adventures of our lives. Dorothy Sayers's novel Gaudy Night introduced me to the possibility of a life of the mind, for women, where books and thinking and truth held sway over the polite lies and pincurls of my southern upbringing.
I've been a writer for all of my adult life, and most of my childhood. I wrote poetry for the first fifteen or twenty years (depending on when you start counting). During most of that period I taught writing and literature, and founded and directed a graduate writing program at Warren Wilson College. Later, I attended Harvard Divinity School, where I got my Master of Theological Studies and for a short while considered seeking ordination in the Episcopal Church. Instead, I started a mystery series that features Lily Connor, a priest and activist in Boston.
This was the right choice. I would not have been a good priest. I am an impatient perfectionist who prefers to be left alone with a good book or a blank page, or both. I have just finished a new novel that is not part of the mystery series, though it does include an art heist and a psychic. I live with my husband, the writer Dennis McFarland, in rural Vermont, and our two grown children, when we can lure them home.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Fremont on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
This collection of poems can only be described as stunning. It is as if Blake takes the reader's hand and--sometimes gently, sometimes starkly--shows us the geography of a life; "here is pain and loss, here is longing" she says, "and over there, beauty, and hope." We experience the journey through this terrain viscerally, connecting Blake's conjured memories back to our own. Her glimpses of the imagined future are ours, too. Each poem is beautifully crafted, fragile and human, and together they offer the reader a breathtaking view of the wide and startling world. These poems are simply too good to miss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MichaelDowning on June 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Michelle Blake is a poet of the landscape of our lives. Each one of these pitch-perfect poems opens a window into the private world of longing and love, loss and discovery--reading them, you feel someone knows you, someone has stood by you in the most memorable moments of your life. And then the lyrical language suddenly lifts you up--these are moments when "Orion glides through the sky upside down" and "children float away into the great blue sky of the possible"--and the vista widens, you see that the world is bigger, and much brighter than you understood--and just where you want to be.
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