Life and Death and Holy in Every Breath, forthcoming from Wild Rising Press.
In 2016, one of my newborn twin grandsons died and his brother spent several weeks in the NICU recovering from their premature birth. In 2022, my sister died after an extended illness. In between was the death of my beloved dog, the Women’s March, the COVID-19 pandemic, a school shooting at our university, police brutality, children in cages at the U.S. Southwestern border, metoo memories, and the general chaos and mayhem that has characterized life in the early 21st century. As I struggled to reconcile my spiritual beliefs with the world in which we live, I sought meaning and solace through nature, relationships, poetry, and art. The poetry in this book is an exploration of life, death, and the holy in the midst of life’s messiness. [Subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to receive news of the book's release]
Me reading my poetry for ISAN 2023
Witness, in Bards Against Hunger, 2020
Bards Against Hunger founded in 2013 is a National Project dedicated to using poetry to help feed the hungry.
Published in journal Families, Systems, and Health, this poem is about the experience of having a biopsy.
Poor Room, 2023
Published in Moonstone Arts Center Ekphrastic Poetry Anthology. This poem was written in response to Ivan Albright’s painting: “Poor Room: There is no Time, No End, No Today, No Yesterday, No Tomorrow, Only the Forever and Forever and Forever Without End”
After the School Shooting, Living in a Death Denying World, 2023
Since the shooting at Columbine High School in April 1999, there have been more than 377 school shootings in the United States (Cox, et al, 2023). The UNC Charlotte campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, while I was a faculty member, experienced a school shooting on April 30th, 2019, in which two students were killed and four were wounded, three critically, by a university student. This paper, both a narrative and poetic account of a school shooting, provides an experiential entry into the experience from the point of view of a faculty member.
Magnitude 5.1: A Collaborative Anti-Anti-Narrative of Chaos and Cortisol during the Pandemic (C. S. Davis, M. M. Quinlan, J. L. Crane). 2023
Three scholars share their pandemic experiences, weaving narrative and poetry in an anti-anti-narrative of illness, death, stress, and fear. This is a tale of relentless living at a distance—of the drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, minute by minute, year after year, endless cascade of unresolved anxiety and the shared cortisol spike so many of us have endured slogging through the interminable pandemic in a death-indifferent culture.