I took a poetry workshop from Ms. Austen, our Washington State Poet Laureate. What a delightful two hours. After, I bought her book, curious to read her work, which was not used in the workshop.
She mentioned some personal life stories during the workshop, and this book tells a little about them. Many people I know read a book of poetry willy-nilly, they enjoy picking up the book and opening it to a poem. I tend to start at the beginning and read to the end. The beginning tells us it is in memory of her brother, who died too young at 37 years of age. I read the first three poems and stopped. The third poem is "What Is Known" – for her brother, Michael – just blew my socks off. She has several poems in this book with the same title, and they are very, very powerful.
This is not a book of lightness and humor; it is a book of delicately written pain, and sorrow. It explores life in all its meanings – and every reader will read their own poems, their own stories, into these words.
While it is not a book of lightness and humor, it is yet filled with light, and touches of humor. These poems will go directly to your heart; they will allow your soul to soar. I read the complete book in a matter of 3 or 4 sittings. I have since gone back to several of the poems to read again, and sometimes yet again, to read, to absorb, to marvel at the beautiful writing, and then to lay aside only to pick it up again and again.