Donna Marie's Peace & Poetry

discover your poetic possibilities

National Poetry Month Suggestions!

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, here are three highly recommended books for you to try.

Small Rain by Barbara Crooker


What a beautiful book. Master of metaphor, skilled at simile, Crooker has an amazing way of looking at nature—and life in general—and conveying that view to her readers. I found myself reading, underlining, rereading. In the first poem, “The thin tinsel of the new moon / hangs in the dark sky, a comma / dividing the sentence between / last year’s troubles and this year’s / hopes . . .”


“. . . trees as bare as a politician’s promise”

“the crocus, sticking out its plum tongue, / inciting the woods to riot”

“. . . The air / stretches and warms; you could pull it / like molasses taffy . . .”

There were poems that caused me to reflect about relationships, some that made me cry. Most made me stop and say, “Why have I never looked at it that way?”


Blacksnake at the Family Reunion by David Huddle


A magnificent voice. These poems read like stories that give an intimate peek into Huddle’s life, particularly his growing-up years. He is courageously honest, able to express regret—but instead of shaking my head at him, I shook my head at myself, recognizing my own flaws and my fear of expressing them on paper. There were also nostalgic descriptions of family life that brought me back in time and made me smile recalling my own memories. A poem that made me laugh in the beginning (“Obnoxious / boy that I was, / God gave me zits / to keep me meek” or “I know what they say—it was her silence / I married her for . . .”) took completely different turns than what I’d expected. Each poem spoke to me and I may have had trouble choosing a favorite if not for his final poem, “Beautiful Aunt.” Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, he saved the best for last.


More Money Than God by Richard Michelson


Another book I couldn’t put down. Sometimes hilarious (“Elijah Versus Santa” begins “Weight advantage: Santa. Sugar and milk / at every stop . . .” or the quote paired with “My Mother, At Sixty, Learns to Drive”: “When the squirrel darted across the road, she says, / I followed it up the curb and into the bushes.”) But there were also deep and somber pieces (“How did you feel when your papa disappeared? / I write my African pen-pal. I could feed what remains / of his family for the cost of one movie per month” or “. . . Somewhere else, the murderer / is murdering somebody else, but everything is the same // in the poem where the poet misplaces his keys.”) Michelson writes about history and about the present and, as in the previous two books here, there were phrases, lines, stanzas, and whole poems I paused to read again because they were so good I didn’t want them to end.

Do your part to promote poetry. Pick up one of these books and enjoy.



April 15 at 7 PM
A Friday Night of Poets
Byrd’s Books, 126 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, CT

Join Donna Marie Merritt, David K. Leff, Amy Nawrocki, Lisa Schwartz, and Susan Tuz as they read selections from their collections of poetry. Light refreshments will be served. If you would like a signed book by any of the poets mailed to you, please call Byrd’s before April 15 at 203-730-2973.

April 24 at 3 PM
Memoir, Music, Poetry, and Wine
Hickory Stick Bookshop, 2 Green Hill Rd, Washington, CT

The author of five poetry books, Donna Marie Merritt will read from her recent release, We Walk Together. “Deeply human and humane, these poems provide a glimmer of hope in a world buffeted with disheartening news.”
~Ginny Lowe Connors, author of The Unparalleled Beauty of a Crooked Line

Jack Sheedy will read from his memoir, Sting of the Heat Bug. “Sheedy has captured his memories of growing up in the post-WWII era in rich detail and is faithful to the emotional tenor of the times.” ~Kathryn Boughton, LCT Magazine

Performing throughout CT, NY, and MA, Bill Benson was named Northwest Idol at the Warner Theater in Torrington, CT. Bill will entertain us with songs from his CD, This Old House, a blend of acoustic folk songs, ballads, and country.

Complimentary wine and cheese. Book and CD signings follow the performance. If you would like a signed book or CD mailed to you, please call Hickory Stick before April 24 at 860-868-0525.



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