O Garden-Dweller by Laura Reece Hogan
Laura Reece Hogan’s O Garden-Dweller is a twenty-first century Song of Songs — a lyrical invitation to seek the beloved among the ‘lilt of robin, / goldfinch warble’ and the ‘medley / of sky and tree.’ She carries us down the path to her desired destination with lovely alliteration and internal rhyme. The aptness of her word-choice delights again and again, and the subtlety of her images encourages us to dwell there.
–D.S. Martin — author of Conspiracy of Light, and editor of the Poiema Poetry Series.
Laura Reece Hogan’s O Garden-Dweller takes its title from the Song of Songs, and explores the seasons of love: between man and woman, the soul and the divine. She traces the yearning toward God through the delight which the lovers find in each other and in their garden. The garden, a drought, a wildfire and its aftermath, the transcendent within the quotidian, all grow together organically to make this book work as a whole. In this garden, with its riot of apricots, mock orange, roses, morning glories, sugar maples, we feel the “sun-embered embrace,” see “the dew shine[s], / a needlework of mercy,” drink in rain after drought as “liquid mercy.” Hogan reminds us to “stop and inhale goodness,” and after reading these poems, we do, we do.
— Barbara Crooker, author of Les Fauves and seven other books of poetry
Laura Reece Hogan fills her debut collection to the brim with a luscious joy you will love to taste. O Garden-Dweller is notable for its full-bodied exuberance, a reach and a grasp that exceed themselves. Her poems are spiritually erotic and perhaps erotically spiritual in a way that honors the Song of Songs—and yet they wear their very own “blood-red bloom of belonging.”
– Paul J. Willis, author of Getting to Gardisky Lake and three other collections of poetry, and professor of English at Westmont College
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by Laura Reece Hogan
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Laura Reece Hogan’s poetry has appeared in The Christian Century, Faith Hope and Fiction, PILGRIM: A Journal of Catholic Experience, The Penwood Review, Plum Tree Tavern, and The Windhover. She is the author of I Live, No Longer I: Paul’s Spirituality of Suffering, Transformation, and Joy (2017, Wipf & Stock). She lives in Southern California with her family.