Summary: In this riveting collection of poems, Julie Cadwallader-Staub invites the reader to experience the exquisitely tender as well as brutally difficult realities of living with someone dying of cancer. Face to Face honestly and gracefully describes her journey through the darkness of death and into the light of healing.
“Face to Face is full of what Julie Cadwallader-Staub calls ‘bright
blasts of truth.’ These are quiet poems, but their force derives from a
deep-seated clarity, an intelligent music that begins in the small
songs of everyday life and expands. I found these poems remarkably
alive. Each of them gathers an atmosphere peculiar to its emotional
climate. Each of them is a small, sane song cast into the vast
“While death hovers over this
collection, life and love are the real subjects of Julie
Cadwallader-Staub’s poems. Some are exquisitely sad, some surprisingly
funny; all confront wrenching change with honesty and grace. The poet
captures intimate truths of one family’s loss but also speaks to the
many who seek meaning in well-chosen words.”
“I read a lot of poetry, but
rarely do I
read poems so elegant in their simplicity, so profound in their
humanity. I read many accounts of great love and great loss, but rarely
do I see suffering explored as honestly and hopefully as it is here.
The faith that shines through these poems—so powerfully that it renews
the reader’s faith—is neither vague nor pious. It is bone-deep faith, a
phrase that stands in paradoxical tension with the fact that bone
cancer took Julie Cadwallader-Staub’s beloved Warren from her and their
children, leading to this painful and redemptive journey in language
Market: Cadwallader-Staub’s poetry should appeal to all people who care deeply about the natural world we share and those who seek meaning amid death.
Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature; Personal experience—healing; faith; grief; BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry.
The Author: Julie Cadwallader-Staub lives near Burlington, Vermont, and currently serves as the Grants Director for the Burlington School District. Her poems have been published in several journals, featured on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” and included in anthologies. She was awarded a 2001 Vermont Council on the Arts grant. She and her husband, Warren, were married for 23 years until his death from multiple myeloma at age 49.
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