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The Mill Grinds Fine
Helen Wade Alderfer

"While this is a substantial book of poems, one closes the book without surfeit. I felt that a great, rich body of a life fully lived has just been hinted at—knew that I wanted to keep the book handy so that I could open it again soon, and often." —Ann Hostetler, Center for Mennonite Writing

Summary: The prose poems of Helen Alderfer showcased in The Mill Grinds Fine are vignettes from her life as one of the earliest Mennonite women writers. She shows us the inside story of earlier times, tells the tales of a modern maturity, celebrates the natural world, and exalts the quest for the eternal. From birth through death as well as in between and beyond, Alderfer grieves, celebrates, articulates, and honors—without simplistically resolving—the mysteries of existence. See excerpts in DreamSeeker Magazine, Autumn 2003 and Winter 2009.

Comment: “At any age, poets write to retain and redeem memory, but perhaps even more so in what Helen calls ‘the winter years.’ From that vantage point, she writes with wisdom and generosity, in love with life yet mindful of loss.”
—Julia Kasdorf, Author, Sleeping Preacher

“Moving sure-footedly from sentence to sentence, Helen Alderfer’s poems, like letters from home, delineate by their quiet tenor and sustained clarity the remembered particular landscape of a richly attentive life.”
—John J. Fisher, Professor of English Emeritus, Goshen College

“Pick any poem, and you have chosen a jewel of rare quality. Each word edge sharply reveals truth about a life stage. Each facet reflects beauty in an unexpected way. This slim volume of poetry is a loving gift to the reader, bringing joy that lingers long after the book is laid down.”
—Katie Funk Wiebe, author of several books on aging, including
Border Crossing and her memoir, The Storekeeper’s Daughter

“Out of a lifetime of tough wisdom born of deeply felt beauty, grief, humor, and grace, Helen Alderfer writes of ordinary things with eternal import: food for a tramp, the indelible glory of a flamboyant tree, a sermon gone stale, Simon running into town naked for lack of rain, the tender shock of a child’s eye-view, a father’s brand new suit seen only in a casket.”
—Wilbur J. Birky, Professor of English Emeritus, Goshen College

Market: Alderfer’s poetry should appeal to general readers, especially those drawn to accessible, down-to-earth, yet still lyrical descriptions of ordinary life as well as life’s larger stages and transitions.

The Author: The retirement of poet Helen Wade Alderfer, Goshen, Indiana, is devoted more than ever to thinking, reading, and writing as well as active engagement with people and groups of all ages. Alderfer was an editor of Christian Living for 25 years and of On the Line for 14 years. She edited the book, A Farthing in Her Hand. Her poems have been published in Beams of Light, The Voice, Gospel Herald, Purpose, The Mennonite, On the Line, Christian Living, and DreamSeeker Magazine.

Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature. BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry.

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House
Imprint: DreamSeeker Books
Copublisher: Herald Press, Scottdale, PA
Publication date: February 15, 2009 (copies available now)
Pages: 136
Format: 5.5 x 8.5 trade paper
Prices: $12.95 US/Can.
ISBN 13: 978-1-931038-60-7; ISBN 10: 1-931038-60-0




Copyright 2009 by Cascadia Publishing House LLC