Read an Excerpt from Thunderhead

The lyric poems in Phillippo’s radiant debut collection Thunderhead explore faith, motherhood, family, and community. As the author has put it, she has lived her life “backwards,” first raising a large family, then going back to school, and only now seeing her work find its way into print.

Rooted in Midwestern farm country near where she grew up, these place-based poems reflect a spiritual practice: searching for—and expecting to find—the sacred in the ordinary world of trees and weeds and seasons.

Here you will find red-rooted pigweed and red-wing blackbirds, cornfields, woods, streams, gardens, and the creatures (human and otherwise) who inhabit them, in addition to a wide night sky filled with stars, and the ancient underground river, the Teays, that throbs and flows beneath them all.

Read and Excerpt from Toward

The poems in Toward inhabit the landscapes and seascapes of the wild southwest of Ireland, the islands of America’s Pacific Northwest, the poet’s home in Massachusetts, and then round again, back to the land north of Dublin. Moira Linehan’s eye and imagination capture lyrical, sonic, and imagistic details of these places. So, too, their embedded history: the Famine, the days of the whaling industry, and the speaker’s paternal genealogy are all woven in.

Read an Excerpt from Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

“Somebody we’ve all heard of once turned water into wine. With this project it’s more like turning vinegar into arsenic. In the first place, most everyone on the translation committee arrived with suspicions. And those suspicions were quickly confirmed.”

Read an Excerpt from The Drunken Silenus

“EARLY IN HIS ADULT LIFE, Peter Paul Rubens, the famous painter—though he was not yet famous at the time—took a trip to Italy with his apprentice Deodat del Monte. Rubens had been living in Antwerp with his mother. He wasn’t born in Antwerp, he was born in Siegen, in what is now Germany but was, at the time, not the unified country that it is today. Rubens was born in the time before nation-states as we know them existed. Before the French Revolution, before Bismarck, before Napoleon. Rubens was born in Siegen because his father had been in prison there, or thereabouts. That’s another part of the story we’ll get into later, the arrest and near execution of Rubens’s father.”

Read an Excerpt from God’s Liar

“Yes, it is true: I knew John Milton. I let the words stand on the page, the ink still wet. It has taken me all of three weeks to find the courage to write this letter…”