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Signed copy. CHURCH OF NEEDLES dwells in the tension between our desire for autonomy and our need for connection; with each other, with our own mercurial selves, with god. If the poems circle a place of alienation, where even the landscape appears aloof if not hostile, where the bond between a mother and her newborn isn't a given, they often arrive at redemption, but a curiously godless one. Threaded through poems of darkness, of abuse, betrayal, witness and hardship, god is merciless when present, but more often obstinately absent. The voices of a ridiculed small town giantess, the abused wife of a Civil War veteran and a former slave making her way in the north dialogue with contemporary voices telling their own stories of suffering. Loneliness, like an Andrew Wyeth landscape, is the familiar ground on which these characters have built their lives, not counting on but surprised by unexpected grace.


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Church of Needles

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