Join us for a night of poetry with award-winning poet and Bexley alum Beth Tornes. Beth has published several award-winning poetry collections and will be reading from her most recent collection, Northern Skies, which was published in June 2022.
Praise for Northern Skies:
Part elegy, part praise song, the poems in Northern Skies will awaken you again to the beauty in this world “darkened by history.” In a book that recounts the inherited art of giving, Beth Tornes practices it herself in these pages—offers the reader delicately drawn images of place, quiet surprises in her turns of phrase, and gems of memory and family stories. Follow the poet’s eye to fairy grasshoppers in bicycle spokes, listen with her to “river reeds / hissing like snakes in the slanted rays of sun,” and let her teach you to measure in teaspoons the sweet weight of bird song. These poems are gifts that will live in the “soft tanks of our bodies,” will teach us to treasure each “token of life’s abundance, and its brevity.” – Kimberly Blaeser, author of Copper Yearning, Wisconsin Poet Laureate 2015-16
Beth Tornes’ new collection of poems, Northern Skies, begins with an almost overwhelming wave of sensuous detail in the form of a sweeping, seventy-line journey, “In the Old Village,” that takes us to the heart of Anishinaabeg and Ojibwe culture in shockingly focused detail, and ends, twenty-seven poems later, with “Blue berrying at the Tribal Farm,” no less awash in sensuous detail and in rich, deeply felt cultural reference of the kind that you can come by only through living that life. Along the way the poet evokes a mythic quality in which the complications of the world are translated into a simple, straight-forward diction that is stunning in its overall affect. All of this is tempered with a maturity of vision that only time can teach, and with an ear for the music of language that is necessary in poetry. – Bruce Weigl, author of Among Elms, in Ambush
In this meditative collection by Elizabeth Tornes, we encounter evidence of a life fully lived, a life of poetry that has led our speaker to respect the past and the natural world, both immersed, for her, in mystery and abundance. Tornes wanders, a gentle traveler, across landscapes imbued with knowledge, which she releases to us, poem by poem, in Northern Skies. – Kathy Fagan, author of Sycamore and Bad Hobby
Beth Tornes has published four award-winning poetry collections, Between the Dog and the Wolf (Five Oaks Press, 2016), New Moon (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and Snowbound (Giiwedin Press, 2011). Her most recent book, Northern Skies, came out in June 2022 from Muriel Press. She has been awarded residencies at MacDowell Colony and Yaddo Colony for the Arts. Her poems have been published in many journals and anthologies, including The American Poetry Journal, Boulevard, The Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, The Missouri Review, North American Review, Poetry Daily, Ploughshares, and Solstice Literary Magazine. She has also published a collection of Ojibwe oral histories, Memories of Lac du Flambeau Elders (2014, U. of Wisconsin Press). She has lived in Lac du Flambeau for the past 26 years.