For Immediate Release: July 1, 2010
“I am cursed by my need to tell story through the dreaded confessional poem,” says poet and visual artist Dorothy Field.
For those who enjoy Field’s insightful poems, blessing is a much better term than curse! Field’s willingness to openly examine her personal stories invites the reader in and, at the same time, gets to the heart of universal experiences of love and loss, betrayal and forgiveness.
Field’s new collection of poems, The Blackbird Must Be (Sono Nis Press – September, 2010) weaves together two story lines: the end of the poet’s marriage and her move from the farm she called home for thirty-two years, and the loss of an enormous Garry oak tree behind her home in Victoria. “I was crestfallen when the arborists told me the Garry oak had to go,” Field confesses. “I had always wanted to live beside an oak tree. In the process of grieving the loss, all sorts of real and mythical people came to visit me in the oak, each with something to tell me.” Both the poems about the dissolution of the marriage and the loss of the oak turn out to have a parallel kind of storyline, which Field discovered as the poems came to her. “I find the remarkable stories of our lives endlessly fascinating, useful, and the stuff of myth.”
Poet Patricia Young says of these poems, “The Blackbird Must Be is a beautiful and moving collection that reminds us that there is power in vulnerability and strength in forgiveness.” Field’s description is more down to earth. “This book is full of crows, ravens, hawks, and wildflowers.” When pressed to consider why a collection like this is important, Field says, “All of us go through difficult times, and yet, if we’re kind to ourselves and believe that we can take as long as it takes to live through the anger,
loss, and grief, we come out more whole than we started. That’s really what the book is about.”
The first half of this stirring and evocative collection chronicles the dissolution of a marriage that begins with love, hope, and trust on an Edenic farm on Vancouver Island and ends in betrayal, regret, and sorrow. The second half leaps into the marvelous and surreal world of the Garry oak tree in the poet’s back yard. Taken as a whole, these poems speak to our lives after disappointment and the way we must continue to Fling open the shutters, spread the table, room for all.
About the Author
Dorothy Field is a writer and a visual artist who uses handmade paper for drypoint
prints and artists’ books. She is the author of two previous collections of poems:
Wearing My People like a Shawl (Sono Nis Press) and Leaving the Narrow Place
(Oolichan Books, 2004). Field is also the author of a children’s book, In the Street of the Temple Cloth Printers (Pacific Educational Press, 1996) and co-author of Between Gardens, a book of garden letters (Polestar, 1999). Her poetry also appears in the anthology Threshold (Sono Nis Press, 1998). Field was born and grew up in the suburbs of New York City, did an MA in design at UC Berkeley, then joined the wave of migrants who left the U.S. in the early 1970s for Canada. After thirty years on a small farm on rural Vancouver Island, she now makes her home in Victoria.
Download the full release (PDF).
Contact Diane Morriss at Sono Nis Press
to arrange an interview or request a review copy.