2001 Winner
by Cheryl Lachowski

HomingA lyrical journey that is both informed and impeded by our mortal, sensual, and myth-making selves, the poems of Homing explore a return to origins. These are poems of exploration and discovery with an attentiveness to the musicality of language. The book's four sections move from the inter-connectedness of distinct female voices found in section one, Calling, to a single maturing voice in section two, Angeline, that reveals the role intellectual and physical desire play in the return. The poems of Homing, section three, investigate our biological and spiritual ties to the natural world, while in Yonnondio, the book's final section, poetic improvisations of musical works blend the book's voices along with its luminous and dark images into a "rhapsodic fusion."

"Cheryl Lachowski's Homing is a work of deep feeling and of a precision unusual in first books of poems. It's incredible range of themes and modes comes at us in a multiplicity of gorgeously crafted voices that convince the ear by their freshness and move the heart with their heft. Every poem has some news for us about suffering and joy, the human things, and the experience living '...in unabashed / surrender to the holy.' The book is quite a stunning first flight."

--Christopher Howell, 2000 Final Judge

"The insight in Homing is intense, at times almost feral. Cheryl Lachowski knows the names of snow, 'the secret language of trees,' 'the deep crevices between mere words.' Her poems are almost always sure guides to our odd migrations, History however savage, (the secret history of our own lives, however savage), and the astonishing yellow of the coltsfoot."

--Michael Mott

Cheryl Lachowski (M.F.A., Bowling Green State University) has taught literature and writing courses for Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, and Luther College in Iowa. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review,, Carolina Quarterly, Passages North, and others. She lives in rural northwest Ohio where she raises organic vegetables and herbs with her husband and son.

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