Praise for Swimming Closer to Shore:
Shaws is an entirely new voice: speaking in the pure quirky syntax of the mind,
she makes the materials of ordinary life suddenly abstract into metaphor and then into
meaning itself. This book follows the dialogue of woman with herselfcleaning a summer
house, forgiving herself, cajoling, caring for an elderly mother, revising, getting
pulled into a riptide. It sets unexpected meanings free that are both located in a
womans body in motion and abstracted into almost pure idea.
Roz Spafford, chair, UCSC Writing Program
Tilly Shaw is an originalat once plainspoken and wry, sharp and moving. Her
seemingly informal poems catch the subtlest turns of the minds play, achieve effects
unlike those of any poet I know.
Robert Sward, author of Rosicrucian in the Basement
In Tilly Shaws poems, the nervous rhythm, the heightened sense of a
particular voice apparent in unexpected syntax, enjambments, and phrasing identify
a unique sensibility. Her disjunctions wrench us from habitual ways of responding
to the everyday world and force us to experience it in new, vital ways. What more
can we ask of a poet?
Morton Marcus, author of Moments Without Names
These poems amaze me. They directly enlarge and inform my experience. They
have for a long time tangibly helped me live my life.
Sharman Murphy, poet
By birthright a New Englander, Tilly Washburn Shaw came west to Santa Cruz,
California, in mid-life, to join in building a new campus of the University of California
in the late 60's, often returned later to Massachusetts in the summer. She did her
bachelor's degree at Swarthmore, her doctorate at Yale in Comparative Literature;
taught at Haverford College, Douglas College of Rutgers, and Yale University before
joining the Literature faculty at UC/Santa Cruz. When younger, she published a book
on three modern poets and later began writing poetry herself. After 37 years of
teaching, she retired to the enjoyments of age, lives in Santa Cruz with her fruit
trees, friends, writing groups and books, does lay counseling with seniors, travels,
swims in any ocean she is able to.
Swimming Closer to Shore by Tilly Washburn Shaw
112 pages, paperback, $12, ISBN 0-9716373-3-4
Read five poems
by Tilly Washburn Shaw