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Gardening Secrets of the Dead, Poems by Lee Herrick

Memory, history, family, the future: these are the preoccupations of Lee Herrick’s Gardening Secrets of the Dead.

Sample Poems by Lee Herrick

“These gorgeously rendered snapshots—a disarming fusion of lyric and meticulous narrative—are clearly the work of a true storyteller, a master of focus and fearlessness. There is a whole life lurking within these stanzas, a life that Herrick masterfully unreels in his role as witness, during which he manages to be both the ‘other’ and all of us. If there was even a modicum of doubt about this poet’s enviable talent, or his place among those who’ve crafted a singular creative signature, Gardening Secrets of the Dead will lay that indecision to rest.”—Patricia Smith

“Lee Herrick’s Gardening Secrets of the Dead is a lyric exploration of the fractured and fragmented landscape of the self, where the body is a song composed of many selves. Whitman revised, the poems ‘celebrate and assemble/ from around the world’ with a voice that is politically engaged and rooted in compassion. Gardening Secrets of the Dead is a wise, gorgeous book—one steeped in the deeply human process of living in what is often an untenable world, where we are instructed to ‘breathe as if your chest is an ocean.’ A poet’s poet, Herrick’s work is a gift for us all.”—Brian Turner

“In this illuminated collection of poems, Lee Herrick’s tempered, yet fearless, voice presents us with a contemplative space—fertile earth—in which to gather the tiny crystals of our life and piece them back into the light inherent in us all. Because there is light here, in each well-crafted line, in the departures and returns, the remembering and the letting go, every last letter a tender ‘gift of rage and lilacs.’ Here is a poet in love with the world—its failures, fires and faith—and Gardening Secrets of the Dead is his testimony.”—Tim Z. Hernandez

Lee Herrick is the author of This Many Miles from Desire (WordTech Editions, 2007). His poems have appeared in literary journals such as ZYZZYVA, Many Mountains Moving, The Bloomsbury Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and From the Fishouse online, among others, and in anthologies such as Seeds from a Silent Tree: Writings by Korean Adoptees, Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California’s Great Central Valley, 2nd Edition, The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems from the San Francisco Bay Watershed, and One for the Money: The Sentence as Poetic Form. He is the founding editor of In the Grove and Guest Editor of New Truths: Writing in the 21st Century by Korean Adoptees for Asian American Poetry and Writing. He teaches at Fresno City College in Fresno, California and in the low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College.

ISBN 978-1936370979, 88 pages

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Lee Herrick, Poet Laureate, California, 2022  click here for news release

Also by Lee Herrick:

This Many Miles from Desire

Scar and Flower