Book Release & Upcoming Readings!

What critics have to say:

  In Half-Life of Passion, Missy-Marie Montgomery helps the reader believe it’s possible, as she writes in “The Blue Chair”, to loosen the heart with our fingers—to find the way back, and to find (our) “way again/in the world of people." (At Twilight I Watch the Woodcocks' Wild Dance) Montgomery gives us “all the animals/with ordinary magic.  Feeding, watering,/enjoying mending” and asks us to  keep “something sharp and sacred alive/between us…”, in spite of what we learn “over and over again about despair; its ability to pull the air from us.” There’s something “sharp and sacred” in these poems that transfixes us as the poet invites the reader to “come look/at what this earth has made”.  In “Forgive Me For How I Want to Dissuade You,” Montgomery writes “I loved the idea/that there might be words/ to influence the heart of God.”  In these poems, we hear those words, “full of every kind of sound” .  This is a masterful, stunning collection—sharp, lyrical, wise, tender--a testament to the transformative project of poetry.

  --Carol Potter, author of Some Slow Bees

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The landscape of me is treacherous terrain In  Missy-Marie Montgomery’s poetry
 confronts that landscape event by event. her "I" becomes a setting where human experience unfolds, the result an invitation to accompany the narrator as she discovers and explores eros within grief, the half-life of passion. We enter what is missing, what remains, and what rises out of loss and longing. Her rhythms themselves embody both the narrator's passion and her determination to "Now build a different house," one she would welcome us to enter, sit, and "tell what is missing."

 

Jack Ridl, author of Practicing to Walk Like a Heron and Losing Season 

 

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Missy-Marie Montgomery’s Half-Life of Passion combines the power of physical love with the force of a questioning mind that keeps the communion of the body “feeding itself, keeping the hunger going.” Grounded in the flesh, these poems are an uncompromising encounter with reality. Yet each is underpinned with tenderness and seeks a grace that at times approaches the sacramental. Moving poems about life with her son show that motherhood is not a burden but a complex source of joy rooted in the knowledge that she will need to teach her son to temper her passionate thirst for life with the knowledge that “sometimes we’re too small to hold everything.” Specificity of “small deeds of the day” like digging dahlias and storing them in the cellar or the feel of a warm egg cupped in the hand are threaded through his mesmerizing collection.  Visceral yet spiritual,  poems cross out of the ordinary into a lyrical place containing light and dark, contradiction and strangeness as Montgomery learns “over and over again about despair; its ability to pull the air from us.” Epiphanic moments of affirmation also exist when she finds a pretty dress someone had left in a shed or runs through fields “carrying back yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace.” By creating a fresh awareness of events, Montgomery teaches us how to cherish moments of communion like one she has with a landlord who gives her poppy seeds as “part of one time to plant in another.”  Never sentimental or dogmatic, poems in Half-Life of Passion are songs of compassion for human longing, human dreams that go unfulfilled. Ultimately, this powerful and moving collection of poems reminds us that in spite of family and other intense human connections, each person is finally left alone with their need, their desire. Montgomery explores the risk inherent in daring to love and shows in seeking succor, the heart can harm itself, but finally her poems teach the heart how to find its center.

--Vivian Shipley, author of All of Your Messages Have Been Erased

 

Open Field Press Book Launch

for Missy-Marie Montgomery's Half-Life of Passion

Thursday, April 30, 7:30 p.m.

A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton

 

 

Missy-Marie Montgomery, Half-Life of Passion

 (The briefer version:)                                                                     

This is a masterful, stunning collection—sharp, lyrical, wise, tender--a testament to the transformative project of poetry.                                         

                                         --Carol Potter, author of Some Slow Bees

 

…her "I" becomes a setting where human experience unfolds, the result an invitation to accompany the narrator as she discovers and explores eros within grief, the half-life of passion. We enter what is missing, what remains, and what rises out of loss and longing.

                                                     --Jack Ridl, author of Practicing to Walk Like a Heron

 

 

Never sentimental or dogmatic, poems in Half-Life of Passion are songs of compassion for human longing, human dreams that go unfulfilled…., but finally her poems teach the heart how to find its center.

                                       --Vivian Shipley, author of All of Your Messages Have Been Erased

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Latest comments

16.07 | 18:46

Woweezowee, Missy, Congratulations on your new book!!!
This is a great web page where I can finally access all your writings!

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24.01 | 19:56

Missy,
I have been reading your poems occasionally because I am not used to poetry and need practice. I LOVE this poem.
xoxx Leslie

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28.12 | 13:58

Missy-Marie, first, my best wishes & many blessings for the new year 2015, soon to be! Second, congratulations for all your beautiful master pieces creations.

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11.08 | 21:04

Still chuckling as I write this. Wonderful nugget of family life.

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