SANTA BARBARA, CA (December 30, 2009) – Poet Paul J. Willis, a member of Montecito Covenant Church who was surprised earlier this year when Garrison Keillor read his poem during a radio broadcast, has published his second volume of poetry, Rosing from the Dead.
“Rosing from the Dead is about resurrection – the times it seems possible, and the times it does not,” says Willis, a professor of English at Westmont College. “Each poem investigates the emergence or denial of hope that we may feel in each small turn of our lives. Along the way, the poems visit forgotten corners of family history, college classrooms, and mountain meadows. Once in a while, a dog or two come sniffing along.”
The book is divided into three sections: “Faith of our Fathers,” “Higher Learning,” and “Signs and Wonders.” Some of the poems were previously in publications that include Books & Culture, Christian Century, Cider Press Review, and the Mars Hill Review. Rosing from the Dead is his second book of poems. His first book, Visiting Home, was published in 2008.
Reproduced from Rosing from the Dead is “Bifocals”:
Now I live in divided and distinguished
worlds, joined by an equatorial smudge,
the common murk of middle earth.
Now I learn to bring my book under
my nose, to bow my head in reverence
to observe my footing on the stairs.
Now the drawing down of blinds,
the narrowing of near and far,
the clarifying closure of these unhinged
doors of perception, cleansed by cloistered.
Sample pages from the book can be read here. The Covenant Companion will publish a review in a future issue.