In this charming and delightful collection of poetry and prose, we are taken through the imaginative journey of a child in rural Wisconsin, a young nurse's experiences in Alaska, and contented married life in northern California. Along the way, we experience the smooth feel of wooden buttons, the smell of prairie grass, the Alaskan northern lights, the frothy waves of the Pacific Coast, and the thick fur of a shaggy dog, all seen through the kind, observant eyes of this gentle poet. This is a book to be savored and treasured like an old friendship.
~~~~ Michelle Demers, Author of Epicenter
~~~~ These are generous poems, rich with unusual associations drawn from daily life and vividly observed memories. More than any poet I have read, Judy Liese is able to reconstruct the ways of being and seeing in childhood. We read of a child who studies a rendered cow, looking deep into the interior for that place where her life once resided...and later learn that a young woman's yes realigns the cosmos. There is confidence, complexity, humor and a deep, almost uncanny connection with all of nature, but especially with animals in Judy Liese's frank, well-grounded way of being in a world where something stirs, ancient, patient, older than earth. She is not afraid to remember where she (or we) came from or wonder where she (or we) might be going.
~~~~ Mary Kay Rummel, Poet Laureate of Ventura County, California
Author of What's Left Is The Singing ~~~~
~~~~ Judy Liese's poetry brims with tenderness and compassion. In this autobiographical collection, she illuminates with clarity and precision the spaces that punctuate the various stages of her life. Her vision sometimes seems to come from outside herself, as in her poem, "My Mother's Wooden Buttons," where she writes, "I see my little yellow dress standing by itself as if made of cardboard." Love, grief, humor, and sensuous images abound. Family, friends, horses, and even earthworms are among her muses. Of her beloved dog Fargo she writes, "He teaches us the benefits of an open heart." And in poem after poem, her writing does the same. ~~~~
Paul Fisher, Author of Rumors of Shore ~~~~ Judy Liese grew up in Wisconsin and began writing poems as soon as she learned to print in block letters in her Big Chief writing pad. As a child, she wrote poems to entertain her friends and family. After graduating from Appleton Senior High School, she studied to be an R.N. at Columbia Hospital School of Nursing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After earning her R.N. degree, she accepted a job as a psychiatric nurse in Anchorage, Alaska, where she survived the 1964 earthquake and got married. For many years she worked as a nurse and wrote poetry, taking writing classes when she could. In her fifties, she earned a B.A. in Literature and a Master's Degree in English and Creative Writing from Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa. Retired now, Judy and Gary, her husband of fifty years, live in Northern California to be close to their son. She has poems published in Lyrical Iowa, as well as in several anthologies. This is her first full-length book of poems.