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Poetry and Fiction

Praise for Faith Shearin's Poetry and Fiction


Praise for The Owl Question, winner of the 2002 May Swenson Award, judged by National Book Award Winner, Mark Doty


"What Faith Shearin wishes, wisely, is to be able to love and to see clearly at once. She understands that to do so will require all her resources: irony, good cheer, thoughtfulness, humor, and a carefully preserved attention to the strangeness of living, the peculiarity of all our enterprises. The result is a lovely, trustworthy first book, full of affection and wry clarity, "all life's finite hope leaning closer for a kiss." -- Mark Doty, author of My Alexandria



Praise for Orpheus, Turning, winner of the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize


"Shearin's elegant skitterings manage to be at the same time well-crafted and spontaneous, unselfconscious and acute, so that the reader is drawn to her lively spirit. I can't think of anyone else who would write "The past demands/ that you wear a hat, that you/ eat your dead aunt's casserole" and achieve our delight in her surprising truth." -- David R. Slavitt, author of Suits for the Dead



Praise for Moving the Piano


"I think we want poems that can help us, poems that invite us to be clear --in pain or pleasure -- so that we can take the next step and not be made a fool by this life. When I read Faith Shearin's poems, I feel myself become both wiser and less desperate -- and perhaps grazed by a kind of glee." -- Tim Seibles, author of Fast Animal



Praise for Darwin's Daughter


"...She captures Charles Darwin consumed by grief, walking in the forest, avoiding church. Indeed the catalogue of her notice is deep and haunting, ranging from cures that did not work to monsters and loss of faith. That catalogue, however, also includes the beauty of life, as in "The End of the War": "one uncle carries his girlfriend through a garden,/leaves trembling, her skirt alive."...Darwin's Daughter is a delight, in ways that so often surpass her contemporaries." -- Mark Sanders, author of Conditions of Grace: New and Selected Poems



Praise for Lost Language


"What shall I praise first? Shearin's unparalleled lyric gifts, which shine in poems whose subjects include fly-fishing, mittens, and Amelia Earhart? Or maybe her acquired wisdom, which infuse her poems concerning the premature death of a loved one with a tragic imagination that reminds me of another confessional Massachusetts poet, Robert Lowell? Or perhaps her gorgeous odes to subjects as various as motherhood, travel, and birdsong, where Shearin, equal parts Romantic and Transcendentalist, inspires her readers to never stop marveling at the sheer wonder of the natural world? I can't decide. Instead, I'll simply say that Lost Language provides further proof of something I've felt for years: Faith Shearin is America's greatest living poet." -- Kareem Tayyar, author of Immigrant Songs




Lost River, 1918

Lost River, 1918 is the story of the Van Beest family, which inherits a house at the edge of a magical forest where the dead return from the afterlife. When 13-year-old Anne's mother, a midwife, delivers a stillborn baby and her father, a mortician, accidentally brings that infant back to life, the Van Beests find themselves at the center of a drama that raises questions about the relationship between the living and the dead.


"Extraordinary...a story of death and rebirth, borrowing from myth and fairy tale. It has the feel of an instant classic." -- Carnegie Medal Winner, Anthony McGowan

My Sister Lives in the Sea

The Hawthorne sisters, Beth and Hazel, are growing up off the coast of North Carolina in the 1970s. They share a bedroom with identical twin beds and spend their time digging for buried treasure, building rockets, and searching for Bigfoot. Their island is home to shipwrecks and fog, wild horses, sharks, and a mysterious sleeping sickness. When Beth drives off a bridge after a high school dance, and the Hawthorne parents divorce, Hazel must find a new relationship to her sister, whose ghost seems to live in the sea.


"close to perfect, beautifully limpid, but also with great power and that elusive quality of strangeness" -- Anthony McGowan, author of Lark