logo About Ordering Books Events Home
Hummingbird Press
Poets of the Monterey Bay

cover Swimming Closer to Shore

Poems by Tilly Washburn Shaw

Tilly Washburn Shaw

Praise for Swimming Closer to Shore:

“Shaw’s 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 herself—cleaning 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 woman’s body in motion and abstracted into almost pure idea.”
         —Roz Spafford, chair, UCSC Writing Program

“Tilly Shaw is an original—at once plainspoken and wry, sharp and moving.  Her seemingly informal poems catch the subtlest turns of the mind’s play, achieve effects unlike those of any poet I know.”
         —Robert Sward, author of Rosicrucian in the Basement

“In Tilly Shaw’s 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

Copyright 2002