Today's poem is "Breathing"
from Practicing the Truth

Autumn House Press

Ellery Akers is a writer, artist, and naturalist living on the Northern California coast. Her previous collection, Knocking on the Earth, was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News. She is also the author of a children s novel, Sarah's Waterfall. Akers has won eleven national awards, including the Poetry International Prize, the John Masefield Award, the Paumanok Poetry Award, and Sierra magazine's Nature Writing Award. Her poetry has been featured on National Public Radio and on American Life in Poetry, and has appeared in such journals as The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and The Sun. Among her honors are fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, and Headlands Center for the Arts. She has taught writing at Cabrillo College and at conferences and currently teaches private poetry workshops. An award-winning artist as well, Akers exhibits her artwork in museums and galleries nationally.

Other poems by Ellery Akers in Verse Daily:
October 15, 2002:  "The Dead" "The dead can't hear us when we talk..."

Books by Ellery Akers:

Other poems on the web by Ellery Akers:
Two poems
"Christmas, New York City, 1979"
"Mud Lake"
Two poems

Ellery Akers's Website.

Ellery Akers According to Wikipedia.

About Practicing the Truth:

"With the passion and determination of an abuse survivor, the exploring mind of a naturalist, and the soul energy of a language-loving poet, Akers gives us not one truth but layer on layer of overlapping truths. "You ask what saved me," Akers writes, and the whole book is an answer. In one poem, a tree speaks to its seedling: "Open your hands, now." In another, a leaf hosts a wasp egg, and ultimately: "The wasp breaks out / and veers into the world. The gall stays on the leaf. / Only a hole remains where the wasp bit its way out. / The leaf is beautiful, in its way. / It's got this mad cathedral at its center." Are we not all like that leaf?"
—Alicia Ostriker

"I've loved Ellery Akers' poems for a long time, and so am heartened to see this book of carefully wrought considerations about the ways we work at living, enduring, surviving, and finding ways to thrive. Akers struggles to bind the natural with the unnatural, to understand how we are products of the universe, its explosive and violent energy as well as its silence and vastness. And so the child who is broken knows both the blinding rage of betrayal as well the tenderness of a window-trapped tiger moth set back carefully on a leaf. These are the two worlds Akers lives and breathes in, navigating the terror and wonder of each. Practicing the Truth is one of those rare books one can't stop reading. It's that good, that compelling. "
—Dorianne Laux

"Practicing the Truth [title poem]: A compressed, charged family history, made vivid and convincing by its eloquence about the body, about the need for the mind to make restitution to the past."
—Eavan Boland

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