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Less is More in '24, The Wild Honey Buzz, February News: My new book, In the Grip of Grace, is now available for preorders!

I'm thrilled to announce that my first full length collection of poems, "In the Grip of Grace" is now available for preordering from Finishing Line Press! The advanced sales determine the pressrun and are important for authors working with small presses. If you order now, the book will be shipped to you on May 24.

Click here to order online, or if you wish to order by mail, just print the form below or write a note with the information and send to the address provided.

Please send me_____copy(ies) of In the Grip of Grace by Marianne Mersereau 

$20.99 per copy plus $3.99 shipping per copy.

Enclosed is my check (payable to Finishing Line Press) for $______




Please send check or money order to: Finishing Line Press

Post Office Box 1626

Georgetown, KY 40324

For those not living in the U.S., the bookstore recommends that you wait until the book becomes available on Amazon (after May 24) to order because the shipping will cost less than if you order now through the press website. For U.S. residents, it is cheaper to order now.

I am very grateful to the authors who wrote endorsement blurbs for me: Erica Wright, Roberta Schultz, Anna Egan Smucker, Annette Sisson, and Jill McCabe Johnson. You can read their comments about "In the Grip of Grace" on the Finishing Line Press website using the link I provided above. I'm also thrilled with the cover photo that was taken by Marcia Winston Terry in the county in Virginia where I grew up and is the setting of many of the poems. My author photo was taken by my long-term friend and fabulous photographer, Jean Kercheval of Kercheval Photography.

One of the epigraphs in the beginning of "In the Grip of Grace" is this quote by the poet, Natasha Tretheway: "The necessity to remember the past is what the poem is much more about than the actual incident." For anyone not familiar with epigraphs, they are short quotes included at the beginning of a written work meant to introduce the reader to a theme in the work. I like her quote as the past is a major focus of my book. I was introduced to her work when I read, "Native Guard" which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2007. It is an excellent book to read in celebration of Black History Month as it tells the story of the Second Regiment of the Louisiana Native Guards and their service during the Civil War as protectors of a fort located on Ship Island off the coast of Tretheway's hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi. The Native Guard was one of the Union Army's first official Black units. The poems in "Native Guard" also include events from the author's personal family history.

Another powerful book I just finished reading is "Poverty, by America" by Matthew Desmond. In it, he puts forth some of the many reasons for the shameful rate of poverty that exists in one of the so-called "richest" if not the richest country in the world. He also shares ideas for reducing this problem. "Since poverty is a catalyst and cause of an untold number of social ills," he writes, " cutting out the cancer would lead to enormous improvements in many aspects of American life." He also asserts that reproductive choice is fundamental to economic uplift and shares the results of a study called the Turnaway Study which provides strong evidence that abortion bans and restrictions often cast women and their children into poverty.

My family and I had the pleasure of attending a special event called "Concert for the Human Family" featuring musicians Kory and Keith Caudill and spoken word artist, Wordsmith. This was part of the Black History Month celebrations in Seattle and was truly inspiring. The blending of musical genres and cultures was especially refreshing. Kory is a country music performer who grew up in rural Appalachia, and Wordsmith (aka Anthony Parker) is a rap/hip hop artist from Baltimore. They point out the similarities in the rhythms in the music and preaching in the country churches of Appalachia and those of urban hip hop.

January is an especially dreary month in Seattle, so I was extremely fortunate to be able to escape to the Big Island of Hawaii for a short vacation. Here are some photos of heart shapes in nature I found during the trip that I am sharing with you as Valentine's Day approaches this month. Along with the images, I am sending you much love and good wishes for less stress and more joy this month and beyond.

Grace and Peace,

Marianne (aka Wild Honey)


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