When All Else Fails

Product Details
Poetry Box
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.35 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author
Julene Tripp Weaver, a writer, retiring psychotherapist, and herbalist, follows the Wise Woman Tradition in Seattle where she resideswith her life partner and their many books.

Lana Hechtman Ayers' unflinchingly honest and sensual poetry traces her journey from a difficult childhood in Queens spent in the dark house of my mother's anger where the poet grew scrupulous as an owl, to a wildly luxuriant maturity in the Pacific Northwest where she revels in intimacy with sky and water, trees, birds, and a loving partner. The shadows of New York give way to a wide open spaciousness and a vibrant appreciation of simple gifts: eggs from the Farmer's Market, the sound of rain, a beloved dog, and the window in the poet's study where One windy day I became a kite. Ayers generously takes us along on her journey from violence and decay to a hard-earned rebirth into nature, love, and art. In the end, we too are redeemed.

-Alison Luterman, author of In the Time of the Great Fires

When All Else Fails reminds us that poetry can arise from even the most difficult circumstances. Lana Hechtman Ayers takes the raw material of extreme childhood poverty and abuse and turns it into one arresting poem after another. Even more remarkable is that the poet emerges from this crucible not just alive but fully alive, willing to embrace everything, knowing that she's here to touch/ the blank page with reverent ink. Ayers' good humor and generosity of spirit are hard-won and all the more authentic for that. When All Else Fails is a powerful book about the redemptive power of poetry.

-John Brehm, author of No Day at the Beach and The Dharma of Poetry

In this compelling free verse memoir, Lana Hechtman Ayers includes a number of poems recounting her young years spent as a sickly, mercilessly teased outsider. Her hateful mother gave her love that was a recipe for violence, and her beloved father-who kept a vigil at her side through her numerous illnesses-was one of her few solaces. But the tone here transcends darkness. These poems sing with joy and reverence for a world hard as agate but twice as beautiful. Ayers' work speaks to us in a vividly rich lyric voice born to be the sky's reporter, mood ring for the rain.

-Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita