Sku: K049CC

This newest collection of poems by award-winning writer Ellen Bass, merges elegy and praise poem in an exploration of life’s complexities. Whether her subject is oysters, high heels, a pork chop, a beloved dog, or a wife’s return to health, Bass pulls us in with exquisite immediacy. Her lush and precisely observed descriptions allow us to feel the sheer primal pleasure of being alive in our own “succulent skin,” the pleasure of the gifts of hunger, desire, touch. In this book, joy meets regret, devotion meets dependence, and most importantly, the poet so in love with life and living begins to look for the point where the price of aging overwhelms the rewards of staying alive.

Among her previous books are Like a Beggar (2014) which was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Publishing Triangle Award, the Milt Kessler Poetry Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Northern California Book Award, The Human Line (2007), and Mules of Love (2002), which won the Lambda Literary Award. She co-edited the first major anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks! (1973). Among her other honors are three Pushcart Prizes, the Pablo Neruda Prize, Larry Levis Prize, New Letters Prize, and Fellowships from the NEA and the California Arts Council. Her poetry appears frequently in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, and many other journals. Bass is also co-author of the groundbreaking The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (1988, 2008), and Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies (1996). A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Bass founded poetry workshops at Salinas Valley State Prison and at the Santa Cruz County jails, and she teaches in the low-residency MFA program in writing at Pacific University.


Softcover, 6x9, 64pp, 2020