The Holding Hours (Pacific Northwest Poetry) (Hardcover)

By Christianne Balk

University of Washington Press, 9780295995076, 88pp.

Publication Date: August 18, 2015

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Emotion, raw and unadorned, is woven through the poems of Christianne Balk's The Holding Hours. Part I explores the subtle and surprising transformations that come from caring for her young, neurologically injured daughter. Insights unfold in metaphor and persona below the surface of an exquisitely observed life.

Gazing through the lens of other lives challenged by disability and illness, including those of John Muir and the 16th-century Saint Germaine Cousin, these poems place personal experience in the context of pastoral poetic traditions, disability studies, and the history of political disruption.

Balk anchors these meditations within the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. She examines her (and our) relationship with nature--the moon snail, the azalea, snow geese, the dog rose--sing the precise and unsentimental language of a trained naturalist. The sounds and images evoked reveal a stunning artistry--a mediation between self and the world and a celebration of the beauty and fragility of life and the anticipation of rebirth.

About the Author

Christianne Balk is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Bindweed and Desiring Flight. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including the New Yorker, the New Republic, and the Atlantic. She lives in Seattle, where she writes and teaches creative writing. She travels frequently into the Cascade Mountains.