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Poets of the Monterey Bay

cover Borrowed World

Poems by Maggie Paul


Praise for Borrowed World:

“There is a kind of lyric poem that concerns itself with luminous moments, where the poem is like a jewel you look through, and the world takes on a new light and is transformed.  It is these luminous moments that one encounters again and again in the poems of Maggie Paul.  She writes in a voice that does not flinch at sorrow or loss, but attempts to make poetry of them—poems that find a sanctuary, that try to hold on to love and family and compassion as if our lives depended on them, poems that can find solace almost anywhere: ‘To see what I mean / take a small thing, / the bend in the brook, / that branch’s shadow. / That’s how I rescue / the broken day.’  Coming from a religious childhood, Maggie Paul is a poet who searches for the sacred in a secular world, and finds ‘the Kingdom of Heaven is where you plant it.’  In Maggie Paul’s poems there are no linguistic fireworks, no rhetorical hyperbole; this is a poet who quietly goes about her work the way ‘sunlight seeps through the honey jar on the sill.’ ”
         —Joseph Stroud, author of Of This World: New and Selected Poems

“‘I was born into the season of death,’ Maggie Paul says to open this compelling book, and then proceeds to combat that season with a lyrical voice that can assert ‘we have flocks of birds within us / who flutter and fly out when summoned.’  Indeed, herons, doves, crows, all kinds of images of flight suggest for her a way to transcend these issues with a haunting and gorgeous lyricism.  This is an amazing book that makes us rethink the very nature of what poetry can do.”
         —Richard Jackson, author of Resonance

“Maggie Paul’s poetry is an act of radical translation.  In Borrowed World, she negotiates the treacherous region between the world as we imagine it, and the world as it really is—the world of potentiality, and the world of stark inevitability.  Maggie Paul is ‘haunted by the souls / of things beneath words,’ and like a child opening one nesting doll after another, she is after an irreducible world; the one hidden behind the confusion of obfuscating pretenders.”
         —Gary Young, author of Pleasure

“Precise in their construction, tender in their attentions to the world, and mature in their knowledge of our ‘borrowed’ time, these songs and meditations radiate a refreshing spiritual consciousness.”
         —Mark Cox, author of Natural Causes

Maggie Paul was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  After working for ten years on Madison Avenue in publishing and advertising, Maggie completed her B.A. in English at Rutgers University.  She then received her M.A. in Literature from Tufts and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  The mother of a daughter and son, Maggie lives in Santa Cruz, where she teaches Writing and Social Justice at both the University of California and Cabrillo College.

Borrowed World by Maggie Paul
72 pages, paperback, $15, ISBN 978-0-9792567-6-9

Read five poems by Maggie Paul


Copyright 2011