The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home

The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home


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This engaging anthology on the theme of home includes twenty personal essays and nearly eighty poems from a wide variety of social and cultural perspectives, as unique and diverse as the authors who have written them. Herein is previously uncollected writings by Joseph Bruchac, Jane Yolen, Marge Piercy, Naomi Shihab Nye, Roberta Hill, Mark Vinz, and many others.

In a world of increasing change and mobility, these writings explore our most fundamental concerns for self-identity: what is our home, where have we come from, who am I?

From "The House Made of Words":

Some day I will havea house made of words.It will be all windows and doors,with the words placed in rows,each one leading to the next,the way the presentwears the face of the past.

Jim Perlman is the founding editor and publisher of Holy Cow! Press.

Deborah Cooper is the author of Under the Influence of Lilacs (Clover Valley Press, 2010). She is the 2012-14 Poet Laureate of Duluth, Minnesota.

Mara Hart writes memoir in prose and poetry. Her book, Lovecraft's New York Circle, was published in 2007 by Hippocampus Press.

Pamela Mittlefehldt is a poet and mystery writer. She is working on a collection of essays about the meaning of place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985981822
Publisher: Holy Cow! Press
Publication date: 10/29/2013
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

JIM PERLMAN's first home was in Minneapolis where his interest in poetry began in high school. In 1977, after editing various local literary magazines, he founded Holy Cow! Press. He edited the poetry anthology Brother Songs: A Male Anthology of Poetry (1979) and, with Ed Folsom and Dan Campion, co-edited Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (1981, rev. ed., 1997). He and his family moved to Duluth, Minnesota in 1988, where he co-founded the Spirit Lake Poetry series, and helped establish the Duluth poet laureate project in 2005. With co-editors Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, and Pamela Mittlefehldt, Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief & Gratitude was published in 2009.

DEBORAH COOPER has been writing poetry for over twenty years and has worked collaboratively with visual artists, musicians and dancers. She and her husband, Joel, who is a printmaker, have exhibited their collaborative images throughout the Midwest. Deborah co-edited the anthology Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief & Gratitude (Holy Cow! Press) and she frequently teaches writing classes for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. She also teaches Sacred Poetry classes, and mentors inmates at the St Louis County Jail. Deborah is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Under the Influence of Lilacs published by Clover Valley Press. She is 2012-2014 the Duluth Poet Laureate.

MARA HART has been a university librarian, has taught English and Women's Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and has been a poetry editor of three literary periodicals. She writes memoirs in poetry and prose, teaches memoir writing, edits, and mentors writers. She edited Lovecraft'sd New York Circle published by Hippocampus Press, New York, in 2007, and was a co-editor of Beloved on the Earth, published by Holy Cow! Press. Her most recent book, So Many Lovely Days, was published by Kirk Press in 2013. 

PAMELA MITTLEFEHLDT is a poet, writer, editor, and fiddler who has found home in Duluth, Minnesota. She is Professor Emerita of American Studies/Community Studies at St. Cloud State University, where she taught courses on place, diversity, sustainable communities, and creativity. She is revising a mystery, working on a collection of essays about the meaning of place, and beginning a cross-genre project on the body as place. The focus of her work is on the power of story to transform our lives as individuals and as communities.

Table of Contents


Introduction, Pamela Mittlefehldt

I. The Amber Wilds of Childhood: In the Beginning

The House Made of Words, James Cihlar
The home stretch, Karen Lynn Erickson
A Home Worth Remembering, Kathleen Weihle
Corn Rows, Morgan Grayce Willow
Thoughts Upon Returning Home to an English Spring, Elizabeth Weir
The Stradivarius in the Locker, Keith Gunderson
Keep Out, Julia Morris Paul
Drawing of My Family: Age Six, Jill Breckenridge
Child with Reader, Elisabeth Murawski
In the Basement, Molly Sutton Kiefer
Prairie World and Wanderer, Margaret Hasse
Prairie Sundown, North Dakota, John Sorensen
Hometown, Robin Chapman
Safe, Catherine Abbey Hodges
Shelling Peas, Penny Harter
Horizon, Cary Waterman

II. Folded Maps of the Past: Far and Away from Home

Going Home, Rosemary Winslow
Leaving, Emily Ruth Hazel
Relearning Home, Heather McGrew
Coming Home, Janet Jerve
Brat, Carol Dunbar
Postcard to Ailene from a Place in the Air, Suzanne Allen
The Ghosts of Abandoned Capacity, David Pitascke
Origins, Andrea Potos
A Distant Ship Tiding Home, Bruce Pratt
Displaced Person, John Manesis
Portrait Without Words, Tami M. Brown
Three Line Bio, Katie H. Leo
A Hundred Things, Emily K. Bright
Provenance, Nadine Pinede
Family Tree, Linda Nemec Foster
Lands of Song, Joseph Bruchac

III. Living a Second Time in Memory: Looking Back at Home

Looking Back, Sarah Brown Weitzman
What Holds Me, Laura L. Hansen
The Portable Singer, Penny Perry
Fixing Potato Salad While the Past Comes and Goes, Sharon Chmielarz
The Hot Corner, John Azrak
Homesick, Drew Lamm
720 Miles from Home, Ellen Shriner
The Avid Heirs of the Farm, Alice Owen Duggan
Paradise Lost, Jan Chronister
Former Tenants, Dan Campion
Porch Light, J. Patrick Lewis
Back in Your Old House in Montana, Judith Waller Carroll
The Meaning of Things, Claudia M. Reder
The Heart of the Matter, Karen H. Wee
Pecans, Connie Wanek
Land, Judith Prest

IV. Seeking Shelter: Without a Place to Call Home

Dear God of H__________, Ethna McKiernan
Chicken Charlie, Fran Markover
Expired Stars, Laura Jean
A Shelter is Not a Home, Linda Kanter
A Fourth Grade Teacher Mourns, Julie Landsman
The Horror of the World Around, Freya Manfred
Passing Through? Squatting is Another Name for Home, Jessica Erica Hahn
The Cul de Sac on Tallman Circle, Roberta J. Hill
Foreshocks, M. J. Fievre
In Poetry Class at the Jail: Derek Talks About the Moon, Deborah Gordon Cooper

V. Where Rain Returns: Claiming Home

Tattooed, Amy Jo Swing
Between, Mary Kay Rummel
Directions Home, Kristina Roth
Blacklock, Vicki Graham
Day 212 (When I am Home), Amy Nash
Toward Moorhead, Minnesota, Thom Tammaro
We Live in Texas, Greg Tuleja
Patterns of Home, Sherry Rovig
Settled, Marjorie Maddox
Buying the Farm, Part B, Karen Donley-Hayes
The Persistence of Ashes, Kenneth Salzmann
Arriving Home, Jill Hinners
75? Bedford Street, The Edna St. Vincent Millay House, Ann McGovern
Two Timing, Sheila Packa
Any Evening in Early December, Marge Piercy
Nesting, Gary J. Boelhower
Looking Out My Bedroom Window, Jane Yolen
A Gay Doll House, Kenneth Pobo
Now It's a House, Lowell Jaeger
My Place, Joseph A. Soldati
The Permeable World, Rachel Barenblat
Five Summer Nights, Susan Elbe
Mending the Net, Martin Willitts, Jr.
Patriotism, Ellie Schoenfeld

VI. The Contours of Private Geography: Musings on the Meaning of Home

Always Home, J.P. White
Home, Gloria Frym
Seeking Sanctuary, Wendy Brown-Baez
Where We Dwell, Felica Dryud
Rituals of December, Joyce Lombard
In Common, Naomi Shihab Nye
Fault Lines, Cynthia M. Baer
Along Highway 1, Keiko Lane
Threshold: Four Steps Toward Home, George Roberts
Home is a Complete Sentence, Miriam Weinstein
Neutralities, M.J. Iuppa
“Where in the World Did You Come From”? Of Traveling, Oz, and Home, Mark Vinz
House of Dreams and Stars and Life, Charlene Langfur

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