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Poetry Corner | Perceptive Prayer

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PERCEPTIVE PRAYER

The beauty of summer nights
is how they go on –
light lingering so long we can
imagine ourselves immortal.
For moments at a time.

And winter days –
their own kind of beauty.
Any swatch of color:
hint of leaf bud, sway
of dried brown grass, even litter –

a bright yellow bag
light enough for the breeze
to lift and carry,
can render itself as pleasure
to an eye immersed in gray.

May we learn to love
what is both
ordinary and extra.
May our attention be
a kind of praise.
A worship of the all
there really is.

Grace BauerGrace Bauer1Grace Bauer2

Grace Bauer’s newest collections of poems include Nowhere All At Once, (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2014) and Café Culture (Imaginary Friend Press, 2013). Her previous books include Retreats & Recognitions (Lost Horse Press), Beholding Eye (Custom Word), and The Women At The Well (Portals Press), as well as several chapbooks (Field Guide to the Ineffable: Poems on Marcel Duchamp, Where You’ve Seen Her, and The House Where I’ve Never Lived). She is also co-editor, with Julie Kane, of the anthology, Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical & Creative Responses to Everette Maddox.

Her poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Arts & Letters, Bat City Review, Colorado Review, Doubletake, Georgia Review, Los Angeles Review, North American Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Ploughshares, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and more.

Bauer has won an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Idaho Poetry Prize, and was nominated (in 2009) for the national Poets’ Prize. She has received fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Nebraska Arts Council, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and The Virginia Center for the Arts, as well as the Sorenson Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities from the University of Nebraska, where she has taught in the Creative Writing Program since 1994. Bauer also serves as a Senior Reader for Prairie Schooner, and the annual Prairie Schooner Book Prize Competition.

She has been a Visiting Writer at Chico State University, Creighton University, Emory & Henry University, Grambling University, Marshall University, Muskingum University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Oglethorpe University, and Virginia Tech. She has taught workshops on form and experimentation, the persona poem, writing about visual art, writing the poetic series, “jump starting” poetry, and composing the poetry chapbook.

Bauer’s students have published chapbooks and books with All Nations Press, Black Ocean, Finishing Line Press, Hyacinth Girl Press, Octopus, Sarabande, Slopering Hole, and others.

Photo credit: Creative Commons License Winter Sun by PhotoBobil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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About Tomi Wiley (38 Articles)
Tomi L. Wiley is the Poetry and Short Fiction Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee.com. She has written and edited for media including Southern Living and Oxford American magazines, has been published in the literary anthologies Milk & Ink: a Mosaic of Motherhood, Telling Tales, Maypop and the Southeast Review, has coordinated panels for the Southern Festival of Books, spoken on the creative writing process at Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a past president of the Tennessee Writers Alliance. She lives in Knoxville, where she is writing her first novel with the help of lots of wine, goat cheese and the Barefoot Contessa.

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