As she contends with forces that threaten to uproot what she loves, the farm wife emerges as a prophetic voice from America's heartland, embracing a concept of community that includes the dead and the living, neighbors and strangers, cultivated fields and ditches thick with milkweed.
"The farm wife names children after beloved cows, plays rook, and wants to be buried in a root cellar. In poem after poem we see what might appear to be a sheltered, insular life in its true and astonishing expansiveness. These are poems of both intensity and calm beauty, transformative in their vision of the holiness in the everyday." --Jill Pel ez Baumgaertner, Author, What Cannot Be Fixed and Poetry Editor, The Christian Century
Quote: One of the closing farm wife poems, "The farm wife reviews the Tornado Theater at Menno-Hof Museum," reports that "In the rubble of Eli Yoder's house / all they found intact was a glass jug / with a carving stuck inside: 'Fear God' / on one side-- 'God Is Love' on the other. / Eli took that as a sign of the Almighty's power, / but I believe whirling wind spins the bottle / and God is in the dark with us, / not writing down what happens next."
The Author: Shari Wagner was Indiana Poet Laureate 2016-2017 and is author of two books of poems: The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana and Evening Chore. Her poems have appeared in many magazines, including North American Review, Shenandoah, The Christian Century, The Writer's Almanac, and American Life in Poetry. She has taught creative writing in elementary schools, high schools, colleges, community centers, libraries, and nursing homes. She teaches for the Indiana Writers Center; Indiana University-Purdue University's Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Seminar; and Bethany Theological Seminary's graduate program in theopoetics and writing.