The Great Grandmother Light (Paperback)

By Joe Weil

NYQ Books, 9781935520801, 204pp.

Publication Date: October 21, 2013



From 1982 until 2002, Joe Weil worked as a tool grinder and union shop steward in a mold making plant in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Many of the poems in THE GREAT GRANDMOTHER LIGHT were written on the graveyard shift while on break at the factory. There, Weil read the poetry of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Ceasar Vallejo, Gabrielle Mistral, Miguel Hernandez, Robert Creely, Robert Kelly, and William Carlos Williams, as well as hundreds of contemporary poets. The poems in THE GREAT GRANDMOTHER LIGHT chart the history of his journey from tool grinder to lecturer at a major university. Weil claims the common thread of his poems to be his -Catholic worker- sensibility and his reading of the Spanish poets as well as Simone Weil and Flannery O'Connor. -I am a Catholic writer, - Weil say. -I believe in Eucharistic beauty and truth hidden under the signs of what is broken and appears to be discounted.- Weil agrees with George Bernanos: -...all is grace. But this grace is difficult, sometimes impossible to quarry.- His poems are about the difficulty of quarrying grace in places from which no one expects anything to come-Elizabeth or Binghamton. -I expect to be ambushed by grace at any given moment, - he says. -This, - Weil shares, -is the great grandmother light, present at all times and in all places.-