by Ann Hostetler


by Ann Hostetler

Paperback(Large Print)

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Starting with the image of November thunderstorms worthy of July followed next day by snow flurries, in her title poem "Safehold," Ann Hostetler grieves that the weather’s off, that racists rise, making her wonder “How long can we deny the signs?” Poignantly she concludes, “Like Noah, I build an ark, / gathering what I love inside— / this frail coracle / of words.” That coracle has become Safehold, a five-part collection of poems and volume 15 in Cascadia's DreamSeeker Poetry Series.

"Safehold teaches what I never want to forget: that all people are my neighbors, that my mother is my original love, that any child shunned, slaughtered, shamed is my child. Hostetler has written a true work of Christian poetry: these poems incarnate Christ's elegant, dark hand, unknowable and open, ready to carry us all." —Rebecca Gayle Howell, Author, American Purgatory

“Hostetler, who has done so much for Mennonite literature as teacher and editor, now gives us a second collection of her own plainspoken poems. Their message? Refuse to be shunned. Breathe. Build an ark. Seek forgiveness not perfection. Write what you love. Again and again, she calls us to everyday mindfulness in the midst of our grief: failing parents, worrisome children, the world’s uncertain course. Honest and wise, this book is a tonic for our times." —Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Author, Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields

'“With these richly layered poems, Hostetler illuminates the gifts, intimacies, and complications of family, heritage, and contemporary life. With clear-eyed gaze she artfully ‘traces our shapes,’ our celebrations and tragedies, inviting us to ‘live as though the body were the soul.’” —Jean Janzen, Author, What the Body Knows

“Hostetler gathers her living and dead into these poems, generations of seekers and travelers, and seats them at the table, telling stories that serve as a safehold against the confusion and violence of the world, while also using ‘the bellows of the breath’ to praise beauty, to comfort with a failing yet steadfast love. The poet confesses, ‘All my life I’ve tried to live as though / the body were the soul,’ and to that end Hostetler’s rich poems are incarnational meditations so very necessary for survival. —Todd Davis, Author, Native Species and Winterkill

The Author: Ann Hostetler, Professor of English, Goshen (Ind.) College, is the author of Empty Room with Light (Cascadia/DreamSeeker Books) and editor of A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry. She edits The Journal for Mennonite Writing at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680270105
Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House
Publication date: 12/10/2018
Series: DreamSeeker Poetry Series , #15
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.23(d)

Table of Contents

Part One: Songs for Ancestors

Heirlooms 15

Portrait of the Artist 16

Being Seen 17

Self-Portrait 18

Market 19

August Consolation 20

Choosing Sides 21

Martyrs Mirrors 22

Settling the Score 24

Catechism 25

My Daughter Loves Her Children’s Long Hair 26

Too Big for Words 27

Transfiguration 29

The Sacrament of Shoes 30

Flight Patterns 31

October Leaves 32

Sacred Harp Singing in Mid-July 33

Birthday Dinners 34

Part Two: Travelers

Travelers 39

What I Saw in Dresden 41

The Languages of Yoga in Dresden 43

Representations of the Body:

The German Hygiene Museum 44

Frauenkirche, Dresden 48

In German Class 49

Enough 51

The Buddenbrooks House, Luebeck 52

Herman Hesse Learns to Paint 53

Neuroma 54

Part Three:

Sonnets for the Amish Girls of Nickel Mines 57

Part Four: Unexpected Guest

Where to Begin 65

Not What You Expected 66

Guessing 67

Strangers 68

On Geography 70

Midstream 71

Topeka, Indiana 72

Lesson, After 9/11 73

Know What You Love 74

Unexpected Guest 75

Unexpected Detour 76

What You Truly Love 77

Evidence 78

Part Five: Legacy

Legacy 83

Kishacoquillas Valley Ride 84

The Guest 85

The Woman Who Refused to Be Shunned 86

Barn Sketch 87

Safehold 88

For Those Who Would Save the World 89

Fables 90

Exchanging the Gaze 91

Breathing Lessons 92

Dancing with Mennonites 93

Acknowledgments 94

The Author 95

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