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Hedgerow Books

Murmur & Crush
Now Available
Night With Its Owl

By Anne Love Woodhull

Tuned to the instruments of dark… the gods in pieces around her, Anne Love Woodhull has given us a book to embrace when our own hours become uncertain. These poems pierce. Woodhull desires conflagration, not ceremony, wants more than reflection, an exploration of the interior dark, of how challenge is lived, of where fear fits. A moth walks along a neck. Locusts chew leaves into skeletons. What is unknown is as important as what is known. Whether summoning the memory of a newborn calf in a freezing barn, ghosts, or burning boats, caught in the unbearable in between, Woodhull is unblinking and brave. These poems allow us to be brave with her. 

Anne Love Woodhull has co-authored three children’s books and is the author of This Is What We Have (March Street Press, 2001,) a poetry chapbook. Working with children and adults, she is a therapist and teacher. For the last thirty years, she and her husband, Gordon Thorne, have provided an open working space for the development of creative work on Main Street in Northampton, Massachusetts. They also preserve open land in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts to encourage the collaboration of organic farming, creative exploration and community.

“These poems take the pain and terror and joy and everyday pocket change of life, and quietly hammer them into beauty. Again and again a line or a phrase brought me up short with delight. The mainspring of Anne Woodhull’s work is bravery, I think—it carries her through experience head-on to perceptions no one has come up with before. This is a powerful and moving collection by a poet of dazzling maturity.”
–Ian Frazier

“Anne Love Woodhull’s Night With Its Owl, won’t change your life, it will confirm it –– the nature of nature – ‘familiar with ice’– warmed back toward life not by conflagration, but the winter rose under snow – all in the fewest – of elegant words – strong as ligaments – binocular too, she sees to the bottom of the well ‘eyes open to the night with its owl’ – night night and night cold- owl owl- but beautiful and succeeded – so far – by morning”
– Sam Ogden

“This lovely collection of new poems, so incandescent and brimming with truth, is wonderful to behold. Anne Woodhull moves with ease and grace from the turbulence of domesticity to the turbulence of nature, inside and outside, imperceptibly and we are left consoled with the feeling of the world being one true and real place.”
–Jamaica Kincaid


Night Fruit
(from Anne Love Woodhull's Night With Its Owl)

Walking down the stairs of night,

step by step the dark and then tasting

the pears and plums of night.

Sometimes a beautiful pressure

rises up like song from a body.

Sometimes assaulted, the body, dragged

through gravity, forcing me to see

what I’d rather not. Surrounded by horses,

steam rising off their backs, this

is the muscle of night. Close to the temple, close

to its smooth bells, the moss, close

to the bent person sweeping its steps.

The gods take off their clothes for one another,

always just out of sight. Dreams come from a sea.

In the beginning, I was all whisper and stutter.

Coming this Fall:
The Paleontologist’s Red Pumps
by Ed Rahyer

Murmur & Crush
Murmur & Crush
By Maya Janson

Like photogravures, the images of Murmur & Crush etch memory and landscape into indelible emotional content. The road, once, the fields, now, a boy, an afternoon, wings, horses, orchards, and ladders appear and disappear, woven into reoccurring motifs, always unexpected and elemental. These poems implicate the world broadly but depict it intimately. They exist in the past and present at once. Here, Janson writes, “Truth’s got a murky taste.” As poet Carol Potter says of this collection, “The joy we find… is an earned joy; rapture ‘in spite of the demise of everything.’ “We’re all/ pilgrims,” Janson writes, “Sometimes we’re incandescent.”

Maya Janson’s poetry has appeared widely in journals including Harvard Review, Lyric, Alaska Quarterly Review, Jubilat, and Rattle, and has been included in Best American Poetry. She received her BA from Smith College, her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and has been a recipient of an artist fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She lives in Florence, MA and is employed as a community health nurse and a lecturer in poetry at Smith College.

Praise for Murmur & Crush:
“Wide-open love of the world and its mad inhabitants is one of the holiest of the heart’s affections. And that’s what you get in Maya Janson’s Murmur & Crush—total acceptance of the as-is world, seduced into being by that beautiful tag team, Bemusement and Sorrow.” —David Rivard

“Maya Janson’s richly evocative poems embody through visible things the turbulent cross-currents of the interior world where one thing spawns another in a wild tumult of images, producing an exuberant vision of beauty outlasting what destroys it.” —Eleanor Wilner
This Caravaggio
This Caravaggio
By Annie Boutelle

This Caravaggio is best described by one of its early readers, Eleanor Wilner, author of Tourist in Hell: “Here everything is lit with the sensual. As in Caravaggio’s paintings, the light in these poems burns with a cold blue intensity, catching— in nuanced language that invites us into his mind and world—this strange amalgam of sexuality and remove, violence and delicacy, ugliness and beauty. With an incandescent clarity and a compassionate composure, Boutelle’s historical imagination—sophisticated, informed, free of judgment—opens us to possession by this seductive art and its defiant maker.”

Born and raised in Scotland, Annie Boutelle graduated from the University of St. Andrews (M.A.), and New York University (Ph.D.). She has taught at Purnell School, Suffolk University, Mount Holyoke College, and for the last 28 years at Smith College, where she founded The Poetry Center. She currently serves as the Grace Hazard Conkling Poet in Residence. The author of Becoming Bone: Poems on the Life of Celia Thaxter and Nest of Thistles, which focuses on her Scottish childhood, she lives with her husband Will in Western Massachusetts.

From Paul Oppenheimer’s review, “Painting with Poetry,” in The American Book Review,  “Boutelle's poems about Caravaggio's paintings present arrested moments snapped into dazzling clarity, but not so much for the sake of interpreting his paintings as repainting them in words.” Click here to read the full article.

Hedgerow Books Inaugural Titles

Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible
Weaving the “Fourth World” of snails, ravens, and sloths with imagined worlds of our human fragility, our power to destroy and to love, D M Gordon’s poems bring us face to face with the divine. Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible is often allegorical, language-rich, and always illuminating. “In these sensuous, tough-minded and sophisticated poems, the possible extends its range to the clairvoyant. Like nature’s slow transformation of gleam to a rich patina of green brocade, the work of time and decay turns rich and strange in these poems of an original mind and an irrepressible spirit.” Eleanor Wilner

D M Gordon’s poems and stories have been published widely. Prizes include The Betsy Colquitt Award from descant, The Editor’s Choice Award from the Beacon Street Review, and First Prize from Glimmer Train. Phi Beta Kappa, Masters in Music from Boston University, she’s the recipient of a 2008 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in fiction, having been a finalist in poetry in 2004. She currently works as an editor and facilitates a weekly public discussion of contemporary poetry for Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Fourth World (Adastra Press, 2010) and is at work on a novel set in the Gulf Islands.

The Massachusetts Center of the Book named Nightly at the Institute of the Possible a Must Read book for 2012. Here's what they had to say: “Exploring everyday objects and incidents with an eye and ear for the fanciful, the fantastic, and the dreamily real, D.M. Gordon’s Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible (Hedgerow) is testament to the poet’s imagination and true command of her craft. These poems demand to be read again and again.” Click here to read the newsletter.
High Lonesome
High Lonesome is a pasture on a West Texas ranch, a state of being, an affecting personal mythology. Poet Patricia Lee Lewis writes, “Think how brambles catch her petticoats, hold them ‘til they tear, feed on blood....Say the old woman can find her way, can feel the thorns of walls,” and “From her kneeling place between two great stones, she sends her voice.” These are poems of landscape and family, heart and perspective.“High Lonesome pulls you into the momentum of its sounds with urgency, shock, serenity and arrival. The language of Patricia Lee Lewis is devoted to noticing. Her poems digest the howling, look at what comforts, what invades to do harm, what remains.”  —Anne Love Woodhull 

Patricia Lee Lewis was born and raised in Texas where her three children were also born. For over 30 years she has lived and worked at Patchwork Farm Retreat in Western Massachusetts. She holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Vermont College, and a BA from Smith College, Phi Beta Kappa. Beloved mentor of many writers, leader of frequent writing retreats both nationally and internationally, she has also been the publisher of The Patchwork Journal. A grant in 2011, from the Massachusetts Cultural Council enabled her to help establish a writing program at her local library. Trained to teach English to speakers of other languages, Patricia and friends volunteer in Guatemala. Her first book of poems, A Kind of Yellow, was awarded first place by Writers Digest International.

About Hedgerow Books

Hedgerow Books is the literary and poetry imprint of Levellers Press, a publishing house founded in 2009 by the worker-owners of Collective Copies in Amherst and Florence, Massachusetts. With the publishing world in flux, the press comes from a new direction: thinking locally, in the rich political and cultural environment of Western Massachusetts; and acting nationally, utilizing recent innovations in imaging technology. The first Levellers Press title, History of Slavery in the Connecticut River Valley by Robert Romer, was published in October 2009 and has received national attention.