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AFTER EDEN

Poems by Diane Vreuls

“This is a poetry of deep spiritual longing and inquiry, quietly urgent—a lyricism that’s intuitively right, a vision that’s the steady but bemused gaze of intelligence. Diane Vreuls’ saints might be Malcolm, adult (but other-oriented) who’s directed by his mother’s voice from the transistor radio in the basket of his giant trike, or Perpetua, who admits, like Vreuls, ‘that only God can know / what is a cry of pain, / and what a song.’ This is a poetry that might take years to make, or no-time—so natural is its expression, so rare the sensibility. It’s elliptical, often a poetry of glimpses, cumulatively resonant—a poetry that’s a pilgrimage, and a whole life.”—DENNIS SCHMITZ, author of Animism

“From ‘the first word will be You’ to ‘the Yes I am trying to learn,’ another first word, these deeply gentle poems seem to read us as much as we read them. The poems both fiercely claim themselves, and claim nothing.—Thank you for such work, God, pages which lived a life and became a human.”—JEAN VALENTINE, author of Shirt in Heaven

“Beginning with her wonderful stripped-down version of the birth of Christ, and with a childhood in which ‘with every breath the Holy Spirit calls us into being,’ Diane Vreuls has constructed a poetic record of a spiritual journey that unfolds in a lush panorama. The powerful love for God that runs through these poems is as real as any sentiment I’ve read in any book of poems. It seems impossible to contain such a sweep of history and time in one collection, but these poems are driven by a mature poetic vision rarely seen. When you read poems that act on your soul, then you know you are in the presence of genius. I can’t wait for you to read these poems out loud to someone you love, and to relish in the power of their spiritual energy, where the rush of spring buds announce the resurrection, and you are freed from the burdens of the ordinary.”—BRUCE WEIGL, author of The Abundance of Nothing

DIANE VREULS was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Wisconsin and Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar. A recipient of an NEA Fellowship, she has published a novel, a collection of short stories, a children’s book, and a book of poems. Among other places, her work has appeared in Commonweal, The New Yorker, and The Best American Short Stories. She lives in Oberlin, Ohio.

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After Eden.pdf       Christina the Astonishing.pdf       Healing.pdf       Botanicon.pdf

November 1, 2015, A Word’s Worth Review:
“Most of the lyrics in this volume express the entirety of the poet’s sensitive life through spiritual musings in which the reader should not fear abstractions or ornamentation. ... Vreuls’ voice is at once prophetic and sympathetic. ... a poet who does not oversimplify the human predicament but is a powerful spokeswoman for the spiritual life and expresses the finer shades of feeling in her visionary work.” Read the Full Review