The Shadow Loom Poems (Paperback)

By Mary Willette Hughes

North Star Press of St. Cloud, 9780878394036, 160pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2010

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Mary Willette Hughes’s third collection shows the poet at the height of her powers to appreciate the munificence of a long and well-lived life. Her voice is warm and wise in the knowledge that 'Every moment of light and dark is a miracle,' as Walt Whitman wrote. The poems are animated by a loving, generous, grateful sensibility. Some keen with the sharpness of loss. Hughes writes of long-married love, the husband and wife 'faithful as mountains,' and of a friend in a hospice room requesting that wilted flowers remain as 'they are teaching me to die.' Hughes’s quick and appreciative eye and nimble writing style give us images of birds, grandchildren, spring mornings, harvests, poetry therapy sessions, butterflies in the snow and things round and ripe, such as a female body. The poet has inherited a love of poetry from her mother, and she passes it along to us—lucky us.      — Margaret Haase, author of Milk and Tides, winner of the Midwest Book Award for Poetry in 2009.

About the Author

Mary Willette Hughes, married to Mark, is a musician, teacher, poet, mother of seven, grandmother of twenty-two, and great-grandmother of three. She has had two books of poetry published, Quilt Pieces and Flight On New Wings. During the last ten years she has worked part-time for the St. Cloud Hospital’s Recovery Plus program for addiction/recovery as a facilitator of poetry therapy and has given numerous presentations about poetry as therapy both locally and at national venues. In 2010 the National Association of Poetry Therapy presented her with a Public Service Award for her work at Recovery Plus. She has received two monetary Individual Artist Awards for her poetry, which were granted by the Central Minnesota Arts Board, the first in 1998, and again in 2010. She also received the Mother Benedicta Riepp Award from the Monastery of St. Benedict in 2010 for “exemplifying Benedictine and Gospel values” in her life. It wasn’t until 1989, after their children were on their own that she discovered the world of writing poetry at age fifty-eight. After careers as a music teacher and working as an instructor for eighteen years at the Family Life Bureau in St. Cloud, Minnesota, a new vocation arrived. Poetry writing entered her world bringing a new passion and zest to her life as she attended creative writing classes and worked at learning how to write, to speak, and to sing in this new voice.