What Binds Us by Cheryl Wilder


What Binds Us is love, as it turns out, and even if it has that Shakespearean smell of mortality, it also has the wafting fragrance of flowers that give us a “reassurance of forever.” In this powerful, heart rendering book, we trace a couple of generations of binding love and honest, mature understanding of its costs as well as its rewards. A husband leaves, a lover appears, and all the while parents, grandparents and especially a son offer solace. This is a poet that knows how even as we go forward it is to leave something behind as well as gather it: “The ground is smooth as I cross the bridge  / stopping to listen for the water’s surface, the way  /  it pushes around the rocks, always moving toward  / something, but also moving away from where it’s been.”  If you want a poetry of the reality that faces our real, everyday world in a realistic and loving way, then this is for you.

–Richard Jackson


What Binds Us is a beautifully wrought collection. Wilder writes of relationships, familial roots and inherited behaviors with a keen eye for detail and a subtle, unassuming music. Her poems are delivered with great tenderness, yet they resonate in deeply powerful ways. I found myself thinking about these poems long after reading them.

–Mark Cox



What Binds Us

by Cheryl Wilder

$13.99, paper

Born and raised in Northern California, Cheryl Wilder has made her home in North Carolina for the past twenty-three years. She holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she earned her MFA in 2010. Her work has appeared in a number of journals, including Cream City Review, Hunger Mountain, Literary Mama, Connotation Press, and Numero Cinq. Alongside her husband, Cheryl owns a small web development company in Raleigh, NC. When she’s not the accountant, office manager or web marketing strategist, she works as content creator and web designer. She’s a mother of three boys and a wife of one grateful man. You can find her at bornwilder.com.


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