I’m pleased to announce the release of my newest poetry book, the chapbook Prayer Gardening, co-authored with poet Kathleen Cassen Mickelson. We’ve worked together for years, first as co-founders of Gyroscope Review poetry magazine, then exchanging poems for critiques. Our work covered similar interests and themes, and this collection grew organically out of our poetic conversations.
Prayer Gardening speaks of the way we connect to each other, nature, and the world around us. It takes a deep dive into what makes us human, and how we forge relationships. The chapbook alternates between two voices that explore connections and discover our similarities more than our differences.
Collaboration Discussion and Reading by the authors.
In this video we discuss how we came to collaborate, and the joys and pitfalls of working with another author toward a common goal.
Please enjoy the sample reading below of two of the poems from Prayer Gardening, one from me, and the other from my co-author, Kathleen Cassen Mickelson.
“Morning Worship” by Constance Brewer
Night Poem # 1 by Kathleen Cassen Mickelson
Prayer Gardening is available from Kelsay Books:
Prayer Gardening is also available on Amazon:
Prayer Gardening – Amazon
Or available from the author
constance (dot) brewer (at) gmail (dot) com, or through this website’s contact form.
Praise for Prayer Gardening:
Constance Brewer writes in Prayer Gardening, “my eyes adjust to nuance,” and my eyes do too, as a reader of this evocative chapbook that explores daily life with fresh eyes. These are poems of gratitude, in Kathleen Cassen Mickelson’s words, for the landscape “in which I love everything/the traffic, the gas pumps/the bus bench, the library…,” while also acknowledging “the hunger beneath every song.” The interplay between the two poets immerses us in family relationships, encounters with the natural world, and most of all, a mature understanding of the contradictions in all of our lives, for “What is love but a failed picture of the moon.”
–Joanne Durham, author of To Drink from a Wider Bowl and On Shifting Shoals
The earth-toned poems in Prayer Gardening by Constance Brewer and Kathleen Cassen Mickelson burble along the riverbank, lace themselves among the trees, tease us through seasons, give us glimpses of dreams, the yeasty smell of bread rising, the moon, angels, and even origami. And, oh, the birds—glorious, full-throated, “each voice as one small part of a choir,” (KCM) “light arrowing down/ to anoint… with purpose”(CB). Though there are two distinct voices here, one cannot help but deduce they are both channeling the same dazzling earth-centric deity.
-Kari Gunter-Seymour, Ohio Poet Laureate, author of Alone in the House of My Heart
Prayer Gardening sparkles with birds, stars, and snowflakes. In these pages we feel touch “sweep my soul/back into my body” and “hear the hunger beneath every song.” Constance Brewer and Kathleen Cassen Mickelson’s words call us to “whisper thanks for this breath,” reminding us to fully inhabit our lives—as the best poetry always does.
– Laura Grace Weldon, 2019 Ohio Poet of the Year, author of Portals
My previous book, Piccola Poesie: A Nibble of Short Form Poems is also available on Amazon.
Piccola Poesie is a collection of different versions of short form poems, haiku, senryu, tanka, and American sentences. The book explores the possibilities of each for the modern poet.