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Poets of the Monterey Bay

cover Hanging Out in the Ordinary

Poems by Tilly Washburn Shaw

Tilly Washburn Shaw

Praise for Hanging Out in the Ordinary:

“This splendid second volume of Tilly Shaw’s poetry confirms her particular gift for finding the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary and also her mental delight in living and exploring that moment. She examines the physical reality of her body whether it is her failing eyesight “uneasy novelty of/what creeps in unbidden/harbinger of the darkening” or swimming into a school of anchovies “a wavering dream of eyes/and silent parting bodies.”
         —Audrey Stanley, founder of Shakespeare Santa Cruz

“Inside Hanging Out in the Ordinary”—the last collection of poems by Tilly Washburn Shaw—are poems and lines that will stay with us forever. They reflect Shaw’s extraordinary gift for detail, her joy at “riffling for berries, reaching/carelessly under leaves, intermingling/naked fingers,” and also a life familiar with love, friendship, regret, sorrow and aloneness—replete with “words up against/wordlessness circling between us” and “the old worn ways of wanting.” This collection offers us the gentle, disarming wisdom of a poet who bravely acknowledges “hot it’s difficult the way I’m hones” and reveals Shaw at her breathtaking finest.
         —George Lober, author of A Bridge to There

The title of this book is perfect. Shaw has been rightly praised for what may be a poet’s greatest gift: to be astonished by what’s ordinary (an old lawn mower, Ben and J. ice cream, a dish of butter covered by a silver fox), but such items are de-familiarized, as if known for the first time. Tilly embraces multitudes: a deaf mute who hears “everything anyway through the bones/only quieter”; an artist who spends “long hours drawing in the sand…discovering he has more of everything to/give knowing it will soon be taken.” With economy, dignity, and restraint, Shaw’s poems embrace a world of constriction and convalescence, its “social algebra,” and do so with compassion. Her own trials are transmuted by language that goes straight to the heart with “new/sweets of enlargement.”
         —William Minor, author of The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir

Hanging Out in the Ordinary by Tilly Washburn Shaw
104 pages, paperback, $15, ISBN 978-0-9967295-0-5

Read poems by Tilly Washburn Shaw

Copyright 2015