In 1999, my beloved friend and fellow poet David Dunn died of a diabetes-related embolism. A few years later, some of the poems I had written as I worked my way through my grief made their way into my graduate school (MFA) thesis. After more years of writing and revision, that manuscript became Water-Rites

which is now a book. Many thanks to Keith Badowski and Ron Self of Brick Road Poetry Press and to the friends and colleagues who helped me to work on these poems and who encouraged me to persist in finding a publisher for the book. Link to purchase is here: Water-Rites.

water-rites by Ann E Michael

Thanks also to sculptor Steve Tobin, whose sculpture “Retretti River” as photographed by George Erml gives Water-Rites a striking cover image.

Thanks to my writing group for almost 20 years of critique and support, and to my mentors and instructors at Goddard College, and to colleagues who have written kind words about the poems. Here’s a quote from Barbara Crooker (whose poetry & website can be found here):

Ann Michael says, “There is nothing wonderful here,” but clearly, she’s wrong, as Water-Rites contains many wonders:  goldfinches, “lovely in the lost way of beautiful things,” the richness of beans that “lie warm / one inch below the earth; uncounted yet,” an ordinary robin’s egg, a yellow-shafted flicker in black and gold tail feathers. This is the natural world Ann Michael inhabits and explores: her home, her garden, the landscape of eastern Pennsylvania that surrounds it. Michael takes us on a journey through the woods of loss and grief in poems that are as clean and clear as water running over stone. “And what is as beautiful as water?” she writes.  These poems are unencumbered by unnecessary wordiness, enhanced by careful word choice and a richly varied vocabulary. “I know what I daily know,” says Ann Michael, and now we, her readers, know these things, too.

     ~Barbara Crooker, author of Radiance, Line Dance, and More

More thanks to my non-writing friends who have enriched my life in so many ways, and to my wonderful and supportive family members.

And to David Dunn, who is with me still wherever he is.