Sometimes it takes a good fright to shake us out of our customary zone. Faced with serious illness, the lifelong poet who’d worked as educator, print journalist, network television story editor, museum curator, writer, and community arts advocate returned to her roots. The poems gathered in this chapbook were written over a recent six-year period during which she consulted with the “home” elements of earth, wind, fire, and water, calling on them to guide her poetic rendering of what genuinely matters, no matter what. What emerges from what she calls the willing dirt is a living testimony on behalf of a life lived passionately in love with the natural world while attempting to make peace with a material world much in need of it.
Her poems, essays, print articles and columns, book and film reviews have been published in many literary journals, daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and periodicals over several decades. She lives in California’s South Bay Area.
If anyone asks, “Why read present-day poetry?” this book is one good reason. Offering an unflinching companion in loss, a thoughtful consideration of nature, and an erudite mind at work, In the Willing Dirt is a book to ponder, savor, and share with kindred spirits. Her metaphors reach deep into the earth and the psyche.
Lita Kurth holds an MFA from Pacific Lutheran’s Rainier Writers Workshop and is a co-founder of Flash Fiction Forum, a De Anza College instructor, and an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction.
Jade Bradbury Book Launch Party; "In the Willing Dirt"