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Today's poem is "This is the house of yearning—"
from The Childrenís War

Salt Publishing

Shaindel Beersí poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She is currently an instructor of English at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, in Eastern Oregonís high desert and serves as Poetry Editor of Contrary. The Childrenís War is her second poetry collection from Salt.

Books by Shaindel Beers:

Other poems on the web by Shaindel Beers:
"Water, Water Everywhere"
Four poems
Two poems

Shaindel Beers's Website.

Shaindel Beers on Twitter.

About The Childrenís War:

"Shaindel Beersís The Childrenís War and Other Poems is a poetry survival kit. It offers beauty and balance, provides necessary news of how to survive the war against innocence, how to start over ó from a childís point of view, and from a womanís. The poems lend perspective that is both global and intimate. The childrenís war, as we keep finding out, goes on not just in alien lands. It is the war at home. Yet voice is strength, too, and a marvelous poem like 'Azure' is the antidote, a way of seeing hope, as if for the first time."
—Marilyn Kallet

"In the title sequence of The Childrenís War and Other Poems, an atelier of ekphrastic lyrics based on artworks by children from Chechnya, Darfur, and other recent war zones, Shaindel Beers tells us 'There are things that can happen that you canít draw.' Yet with gem-hard language and heartrending imagery, she confronts us with the unspeakable reality of 'children being scattered / like a broken strand of brightly colored beads.' Beers joins the ranks of Edgar Lee Masters and Ted Kooser with her portraits of ordinary Americans, many of them women, devastated by physical and emotional hardship, but she enters risky and breathtaking territory all her own with her intimate portraits of domestic abuse and of her fears, as a new mother, that 'violence is the one tool / I have been given.' Yet for all their darkness, the poems find hope: in memory, in everyday beauty, in the bonds of love. 'This isnít much, but itís the gift,' Beers assures students at a reservation, 'the one gift, these stories, that canít be taken away.' Shaindel Beersí poems place a moral burden upon us, one that canít be taken away, but they offer the strength to bear it up."
—Temple Cone

"What Shaindel Beers offers us in this fine collection is a poetic humanizing and individualizing of the impersonal and ubiquitous violence that saturates the contemporary world. From a young Chechen girl who takes joy in the happiness she causes other passengers on the bus to a child drawing the cat she could not protect in the attack that killed her entire family, these poems show us unexpected reprieves from suffering alongside unfathomable new depths of horror. Given the ekphrastic nature of Beersí project, we also feel something of the war journalistís documentation in addition to the poetic humanizing effect. The combination is emotional and heady stuff. These poems are rare in that they have an aesthetic, emotional, and political impact in equal measure. You would do well to read them many times."
—Okla Elliott



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