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Bound Together: Like the Grasses

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New & Used Poems


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Bound Together: Like the Grasses

“These things happen . . . the soul’s bliss and suffering are bound together like the grasses.”--Jane Kenyon

Poems by

Deborah CooperBound Together book cover
Candace Ginsberg
Ann Floreen Niedringhaus
Ellie Schoenfeld
Anne Simpson

Winner of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Poetry.

For sixteen years, we have met monthly over dinner, sharing our lives, the mundane and the sacred, sharing our words.The evolution and bonding of a writing group remains a mystery. Ours grows out of an atmosphere of affirmation, raucous laughter, and gentle challenge. Life stories, ordinary and profound experiences and insights, are shared. Distinct writing styles and philosophies express each individual's unique search for understanding, for a patch of ground to stand on in the wind. 

Walking together through time and transitions, through the dark struggles, and the surprise of joy, has woven the scattered sands of our lives together, and given strength to each of our individual voices.

Trade paper, 156 pp., $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-9846570-7-0

October 2013

Poetry Anthology

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Listen to Ellie Schoenfeld reading four poems from this collection on KUMD's public radio program "Women's Words," October 20, 2013.


This wonderful collection deserves its title: individual poems are bound together by subject and season, each one making the one before and after it ring deep and true. From hawks and bliss to the loneliness of a new condo, these poems give us a view that is as open and wide as the prairie.

— Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate, Naming the Stars and First Words

The poems in this collection may be bound together, but individually they fly on bright wings. They fly in close, letting their images dart into metaphor to transform perceptions of loss, loneliness, war, disability. These are soft-spoken hard poems relieved by humor and the wonder happiness is. Bound Together isn’t novel-length, but it carries big themes and high standards. To anyone who has left the house at night to watch the star-studded sky and spoken to a distant star in prayer or by name or wish, this book is for you.

— Sharon Chmielarz, Love from the Yellowstone Trail

Reading Bound Together: Like the GrassesI was struck by how distinct each voice is, as though I were not so much reading as listening. I think of five women talking late into the night, after the day's labors. Now comes philosophy mixed with story, children learning compassion as a dog dies under the stars, a shared "urgency to make my whole life worthwhile." How do we care and keep caring? How do we stay alert and hopeful? These poems are lovely, yes, and they are also useful, exploring the ways that hardship and joy are bound together in our souls.

— Connie Wanek, On Speaking Terms

About the Poets

Deborah Cooper is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Under the Influence of Lilacs published by Clover Valley Press. She co-edited the anthologies Beloved on the Earth: Poems of Grief & Gratitude and The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home (Holy Cow! Press). She is the 2012-2014 Duluth Poet Laureate. 

Candace Ginsberg, a Duluth native, began writing in the months following her husband’s death in 1996 from asbestosis. Soon she was invited to join other poets in their monthly poetry critique meetings—a serious enterprise. The group generously allows Candace to “write little and critique much,” but in her dreams, she would like nothing better than to walk the world’s beaches and write, write, write.

Ann Floreen Niedringhaus’s poems have appeared in numerous regional and national literary journals and in her two chapbooks, Life Suspended and Parallel to the Horizon. She is preparing her first full-length book, That Unexplored Terrain. Ann values her experience of co-teaching poetry writing to inmates at the St. Louis County Jail with Deborah Cooper.

Ellie Schoenfeld is a poet from Duluth, Minnesota. Her most recent book is The Dark Honey: New & Used Poems (Clover Valley Press), and she has collaborated with various musicians to produce poetry/music CDs. She  was co-founder of Poetry Harbor, served on the board of Spirit Lake Poetry Series, and is grateful to the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council for past fellowship support.

Anne Simpson wrote a book with her husband Bob twenty years ago, and recently she published a curriculum for churches based on that book, Through the Wilderness of Alzheimer’s: A Guide in Two Voices. She has also written a book of poems for Alzheimer’s patients called Growing Down and has contributed poetry to several journals and anthologies.