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“Readers of the book Thresholds will experience what Glenna Cook calls ‘the good purpose,’ the intention of poems meaningfully conflicted between fierce moments and tender moments that compose a life. In all her wisdom and experience, she still struggles to answer questions about love, devotion, loneliness and ‘this grandeur of the universe.’ These carefully constructed poems share childhood pains and shames. Like any poet, Cook plays subordinate to language: ‘I’m sorry/about my words./I try to keep them in/behind their white picket fence,/but they get out when I least expect it.’”
—Allen Braden, author of A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood: Poems
“Glenna Cook’s debut poetry collection explores the family photo album as a threshold of narratives, memories, secrets, wishes, silences—and absences. From a 1940s childhood and a mother pregnant with the knowledge of her child’s Downs Syndrome; to an adulthood elegy for a brother who died before she was born; to a poignant sequence entitled Wake to December (in part, exploring her son’s death from cancer), Cook is unafraid of life’s refrain of pain and sorrow. Yet, despite the exploration of death and loss—the collection’s abiding refrain
is faith: faith in the redemptive power of love, joy, and above all—hope. These poems are love poems of endurance and survival, which seek to answer the question: how do we find a language for what leaves us wordless?”
—Rommi Smith, poet and playwright
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About the Author
Prize for the Humanities, and the Nixeon Civille Handy Prize for Poetry. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
Her dream was to be a prose writer, but discovered a love for poetry at U.P.S., and after she graduated, and found herself the caretaker of both her mother and her sister, it fit well into the cracks of her time She has read her poetry in the Puget Sound region, and has published several dozen poems in journals and anthologies, such as Raven Chronicles, Spindrift, crosscurrent review, Avalon Review, 164 and Quill and Parchment. In 2014, she was granted a residency at Hedgebrook, where she wrote some of the poems for this book.
Glenna has Parkinson's Disease, which she keeps at bay with medicine and a regular discipline of tai chi, yoga, and cycling exercises at the Y.M.C.A. She reads a lot, and enjoys playing the violin. Born in 1936, part of the "between" generation, who tends to see both sides, she is a Christian who feels kinship with other religions, a pacifist with sympathies for those who go to war, a feminist who loves men, and an environmentalist, pure and simple.