An inspiring assortment of new and "best of" works by
South Carolina's poet laureate
New and Selected Poems includes more than fifty poems from Marjory Wentworth's previous three collections, Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, and The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle, plus twenty-eight new poems. This collection serves as a capstone to Wentworth's tenure as South Carolina poet laureate, a title she has held since 2003.
Thematically Wentworth's poems invite us to view nature as a site of reflection and healing, to consider the power of familial bonds and friendships, and to broaden our awareness of human rights and social justice. Regional settings appear throughout, indicative of Wentworth's commitment to represent her adopted home state of South Carolina in her work. She skillfully employs a variety of forms, from prose poems to sonnets to elegies to list poems, making for a rich and interesting trek through this "best of" collection of her poems to date.
This collection includes a foreword by the poet Carol Ann Davis, author of Psalm and Atlas Hour and assistant professor of English at Fairfield University.
Shackles (2009 Silver Medal winner in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards), and Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights (with Juan E. Mendez). She is coeditor with Kwame Dawes of Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green (University of South Carolina Press).
Wentworth teaches at the Art Institute of Charleston, and she is the president and cofounder of the Lowcountry Initiative for
, South Carolina poet laureate and five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of three collections of verse, the children's book
the Literary Arts.
"Marjory Wentworth's poems tell us truths, necessary and earned. She gives us elegy and praise song; a kaleidoscope of personal memories; heartbreaking political accounts of what one human will do to another; charming attempts to be 'normal' and 'fold the socks / in neat pairs'; and a brave willingness to risk 'the steeper slope.' All this, with intuitive vision!"—Susan Laughter Meyers, author of My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass
"Marjory's poetry weaves a tapestry as lush as Guernica. Her uncompromising resolve, generosity, and common sense course through these lyrical, wind-swept poems. Her voice is soothing and prophetic, spanning human and natural histories. Personal and political become one, whether in barren dunes where children unearth manacles, in cancer wards, through childhood memories and tabloid photos, in dreams that far too often find their fire in an unsettled world that she tries to comprehend and share through song."—William Allen, NEA-winning poet and a United Nations communications specialist
"Marjory Wentworth has mastered the art of the familial. The poems here strike a marvelous balance of history and prescience, in language both powerful and plain. The beauty of this collection is not that we are reacquainted with her colorful verse, or that we discover the newer treasures, rather that she has kindly offered us the best of both, painting our troubling and pleasant world like only a brilliant woman-poet full of life could."—Kwame Alexander, author of The Crossover: A Novel in Verse