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Today's poem is "Passage"
from Beyond the Reach

BkMk Press

Deborah Cummins is the author of a poetry chapbook, From the Road It Looks Like Paradise. Her awards include James A. Michener and Donald Barthelme fellowships, the Washington Prize in Fiction, the Headwaters Literary Prize, Illinois Arts Council fellowships and awards, and fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Now president of the Modern Poetry Association, she has also been an Arts-in-Education artist with the Illinois Arts Council, writer-in-residence at The Menil Collection museum in Houston, Texas, and lecturer at The University of Chicago. Sh has directed writing workshops at Northwestern University and at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Terra Museum of American Art, and Newberry Library.

About Beyond the Reach:

"Deborah Cummins shows us how lovely—truly elegant—and frightening it is to experience the moments where the natural and human worlds intersect and inevitably and achingly part. Beyond the Reach is a remarkable first book, reaching far beyond most, because of the distilled clarity and beauty of its language and its highly intelligent and haunting philosophical range."
—Susan Hahn

"Cummins is a poet with both hands in plain sight. No manipulative literarly affectations, no illustrations of theory, no personal mission other than to address us directly, with clarity, authenticity and, above all, with generosity. What book of poems could be a better friend than this one, with its lovely, articulate, genuine voice."
—Ted Kooser

"In her exhilarating debut collection Deborah Cummins captures 'this luminosity, this voracious clarity' that suffuses her keenly observed and richly imagined universe. With equal and abiding affection for the human and natural worlds, these poems confront regret, loss, and difficult revision, with blessing, grace, mercy, praise, and the promise of redemption."
—Ronald Wallace

"Beyond the Reach takes its cadence from the sea, its sounds from birds—indigo bunting to robin to grackle to flicker to the 'high trills' of the sandhill cranes. Its canny speaker does not flinch from pain, preferring to partake fully of the world's 'inhuman beauty.' Deborah Cummins takes us well beyond the reach—into the deep, uncharted expanses of the heart. Quite simply, these finely crafted peoms 'bear the weight of being strong.'"
—Judith Kitchen



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