Monday, July 27, 2015

NIGHT CYCLES: Poetry for a Dark Night of the Soul {Book Release!}

I'm having a hard time finding words for today. Today, my book of poetry, NIGHT CYCLES, launches. Like, people are reading it. And that is both exciting and terrifying.

This is completely different from the launch of THE LIGHT BETWEEN US. While I definitely worked hard on that book and was proud of my efforts and the resulting book, it had mostly been a fun experiment. Could I write a sassy, semi-smutty romance novel? Challenge accepted, mission accomplished.

But NIGHT CYCLES? This was not a lighthearted experiment. The poems contained within this book are born out of my deepest questions, fears, hopes, and imaginings. They come from a much deeper place. And so it is much more vulnerable of a thing to give them over to readers.

The stakes are higher, because they mean more to me.
But because they mean more to me, that also makes it more exciting to have people read them.

What a complicated thing a book release can be for a writer!

Overall, though, I am mostly thrilled that the book is out at last. I wrote most of the poems that comprise NIGHT CYCLES between 2013 and 2014, when I was going through the "dark night of the soul," "a spiritual crisis in a journey towards union with God, like that described by Saint John of the Cross" (source). Outer and inner forces converged upon me -- lingering grief over the stillbirth of our daughter . . . my husband's new atheism . . . my own depression -- forcing me to look to the questions forming in my soul that I'd been ignoring for quite a long time. I found the faith I'd so valued crumbling in my hands.

If grief taught me anything, it's that the only way out is through, and so I plunged into the depths of my dark night. And out of that came these poems -- poems of confusion and sadness, anger and loneliness, and also poems of freedom and rebirth and mysterious hope that just won't quit.

And now, I offer them to you. During my dark night, poetry by Rilke, Rumi, Mary Oliver, Mark Nepo, and more were among the few solid comforts I could lay my hands on. They sustained me, nourished me, helped me to understand that I was not alone, that there was light coming if only I'd hold out for it.

I hope that my poems do something like that for you. I hope that they are a lifeline, a challenge, a four course meal.

I hope you enjoy them. Thank you for coming along with me on the journey of writing and releasing them. Here's an excerpt, with all the where-to-get-a-copy details below:

the wildest one

do you dare to step in-
to the vulnerable black, stripped
to the soul with human blindness –

when the full and weeping
moon steps from the shade
of a tumult of mountains –

when, in the fragrant dim,
day's tree stump transforms
into some nether-worldly other –

when time's skin is thin and you are
bared – when there is nothing
between you and the Wildest One

whose name is your own?

Here are The Details!
Want to get your own copy of NIGHT CYCLES? Here's all the info:

  • Amazon*
  • Signed copies
  • Createspace (for readers outside the USA -- this offers the most reasonable shipping rates on paperback copies)
  • You can also request NIGHT CYCLES at your local library and bookshop. A great way to support local businesses!
 *When you purchase the paperback on Amazon, you get the Kindle edition for free!

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"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King