Books

 

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Scrimshaw

I admire the clarity, the directness of Maggie Paul’s poems . . . how they embrace the simple objects of nature and our lives, and find a true music to transform them into light and hope despite confronting the facts of age and mortality.  This requires talent but also honesty; I believe her voice when she asks, in “Egret”, “Is it true that with each step/we come closer to being/a star . . .”  Scrimshaw speaks carefully to us with epiphanies and appreciations etched into its lines.—Christopher Buckley, author of Chaos Theory and Cloud Memoir

If, (as Confucius is quoted as saying, here), “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name,” then the poems of Maggie Paul begin and end in wisdom— naming egret, elephant seal, Chinese maple, mustard flower, star, and sister. This thoughtful and elegiac collection explores the terrain of family and intimacy, with particular attention to “what happens in the/ in between moments. The before and after/ how the light fell or rose.” —Danusha Laméris, author of Bonfire Opera, The Moons of August

Read a review of Scrimshaw

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Borrowed World

There is a kind of lyric poem that concerns itself with luminous moments, where the poem is like a jewel you look through, and the world takes on a new light and is transformed.  It is these luminous moments that one encounters again and again in the poems of Maggie Paul.—Joseph Stroud, author of Below Cold Mountain, Country of Light, Of This World: New and Selected Poems

 

Maggie Paul’s poetry is an act of radical translation. In Borrowed World, Maggie Paul negotiates the treacherous region between the world as we imagine it, and the world as it really is—the world of potentiality, and the world of stark inevitability. Paul is “haunted by the souls / of things beneath words,” and like a child opening one nesting doll after another, she is after an irreducible world, the one hidden behind the confusion of obfuscating pretenders. —Gary Young, author of Braver Deeds, No Other Life, Pleasure

“I was born into the season of death,” Maggie Paul says to open this compelling book, and then proceeds to combat that season with a lyrical voice that can assert “we have flocks of birds within us/who flutter and fly out when summoned.” Indeed, herons, doves, crows, all kinds of images of flight suggest for her a way to transcend these issues with a haunting and gorgeous lyricism. This is an amazing book that makes us rethink the very nature of what poetry can do.—Richard Jackson, author of Alive All Day, Heartwall, Half-Lives, Resonance

Read a review of Borrowed World

Anthologies

Unearthed, (Blue Bones Press, 2020)

Through a Glass Darkly: Lenses on Life with Alcohol Addiction (The Pencil Pusher Press, 2020)

Available for purchase by contacting Claire at: claire.heinzelman@gmail.com

Embedded in these beautifully rendered pieces is the wisdom of wounded, but brave and resilient women speaking to us from a past that haunted and shaped their adult selves. I wholeheartedly recommend this anthology to anyone who has been touched by addiction.—Rachel Pray, psychologist, author of Kiss Me Goodnight

This anthology bravely attends to trauma that defined a post-war generation and whose impact still ripples through families. This is also a generation that learned to not wait in the shadows, but to speak truth clearly, plainly, and wisely about all that was kept hushed. Where would we be without them? —Sharon Coleman, professor, author of Paris Blink

These works will benefit those wondering about their own relationship to alcohol, and those who seek to understand “second-hand” effects of alcoholism. — Elizabeth Bellows, MD, Addiction recovery and the intersection of addiction and mental illness

The Path to the Unknown: Branciforte Middle School Students Highlight Their Moral Compass, ed. by Julia Chiapella and Megan Donahue(Santa Cruz County Office of Education and Young Writers Program, 2020)

Harvest: Poems from the Emerald Orchard (Emerald Street Press, 2007)