by Daye Phillippo


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The lyric poems in Daye Phillippo's radiant debut collection Thunderhead explore faith, motherhood, family, and community. As the author has put it, she has lived her life "backwards," first raising a large family, then going back to school, and only now seeing her work find its way into print.

Rooted in Midwestern farm country near where she grew up, these place-based poems reflect a spiritual practice: searching for—and expecting to find—the sacred in the ordinary world of trees and weeds and seasons.

Here you will find red-rooted pigweed and red-wing blackbirds, cornfields, woods, streams, gardens, and the creatures (human and otherwise) who inhabit them, in addition to a wide night sky filled with stars, and the ancient underground river, the Teays, that throbs and flows beneath them all.

During a thunderstorm, Phillippo wonders: "what if, / in choosing words to ponder we choose / our countenance, too?" The poems in this collection offer us not only a compelling self-portrait, but a mirror in which we may better see who we are and might become.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781725262508
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 07/10/2020
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.21(d)

About the Author

Daye Phillippo earned degrees in creative writing from Purdue University and Warren Wilson MFA for Writers. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared or is forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Shenandoah, Cider Press Review, Great Lakes Review, Presence, and many others. She taught at Purdue University and lives and writes in a creaky, old farmhouse on twenty rural acres in Indiana.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“I do not think I have before encountered poems that catch more exactly, and on the wing, the quiet glory of the ordinary—poems endowed with genuine affection, no-nonsense attention, and a lived-in faith. Her cadenced lines breathe with the seasons, even at night carry the ‘fragrance of sun and breeze,’ as if they, like ‘the fibers of line-dried sheets . . . had memorized the day.’ And the day remembered, in these poems of Daye Phillippo, is twice blessed.”

—Eleanor Wilner, author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems

“Daye Phillippo’s lovely sharp-eyed Thunderhead begins with cold and ache from the Ice Age via the River Teays, miles beneath her farmhouse, tapped to drink and to cleanse. But this poet is haunted throughout by the unseen and the clear: seasons, work, family, the mysteries of the natural world here, then not.”

—Marianne Boruch, Professor Emeritus of English, Purdue University

Thunderhead gives us poem after poem of abiding presence, of the kind one finds in paintings by Winslow Homer, or like the light inside the word ‘radiance’ the poet allows so receptively to thunder through her head.”

—Daniel Tobin, Professor of Writing Literature & Publishing, Emerson College

“These poems speak to the heart, the land, the place, and God in it all. I disappear in them, as I feel like the writer does too. They reawaken me to the endearing Mystery that holds us all, well, together.”

—Terry Minchow-Proffitt, pastor and poet

“These poems are like reading the waters from ancient rivers. In Thunderhead, Phillippo orders the seasons and encounters ‘radiance’ from the ordinary fabric of human life.”

—Diane Glancy, author of Island of the Innocent: A Consideration of the Book of Job

Customer Reviews