Please join us in a reading and book party for Left Coast Writer Marianne Betterly and other contributors to this moving new poetry anthology.
The Widows Handbook. The Widows’ Handbook is the first anthology of poems by contemporary widows, many of whom have written their way out of solitude and despair, distilling their strongest feelings into poetry or memoir. This stirring collection celebrates the strategies widows learn and the resources they muster to deal with people, living space, possessions, social life, and especially themselves, once shock has turned to the realization that nothing will ever be the same. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says in her foreword, losing one s partner is a loss like no other.
The Widows’ Handbook is a collection of poetry from 87 American women of all ages, legally married or not, straight and gay, whose partners or spouses have died. Some of the poets are already published widely including more than a dozen prizewinners, four Pushcart nominees, and two regional poets laureate. Others are not as well known, and some appear in print for the first time here. With courage and wry humor, these women encounter insidious depression, poignant memories, bureaucratic nonsense, unfamiliar hardware, well-intentioned but thoughtless remarks, demanding work, spiritual revelation, and unexpected lust, navigating new relationships in the uncertain legacy of sexual liberation. They write frankly about being paralyzed and about going forward. Their poems are honest, beautiful, and accessible.
Only poetry can speak such difficult truths and incite such intense empathy. While both men and women understand the bewilderment, solitude, and change of status thrust upon the widowed, women suffer a particular social demotion and isolation. Anyone who has lost a loved one or is involved in helping the bereaved will be able to relate to the experiences conveyed in The Widows’ Handbook.
“When a partner dies, we begin a long journey down a path we’d rather not take, and we may imagine that life could never be bearable again. The poems in this “Handbook” offer much more than guidance or comfort. Their searing honesty and vivid depictions of resilience offer us invaluable reassurance that our grieving, however painful, will not destroy our capacity to live with meaning–and even joy.”
–Judy Norsigian, Executive Director of Our Bodies, Ourselves and Co-founder, Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
Readers will include (but are not limited to): Marianne Betterly, Judy Bebelaar, Sandra Gilbert, Kristine Forbes, Mary Curtis, Jackie Kudler
When Marianne Betterly isn’t hip hop dancing, designing websites or traveling to Kyoto, she’s writing poetry. Her poetry has been published widely in books and journals including the Hot Flashes series, “The Green Silk Journal,” and “The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal.” Marianne is the book designer of Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down.