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Practicing the Truth
Ellery Akers

Autumn House
2015 • 80 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - Nature

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-938769-04-7

“Readers will be hard-pressed to find another poet who speaks so honestly and clear-eyed about the anger, grief and joy of this life. And for Akers, who is also an artist and naturalist, the earth both redeems and saves.”—James Crews, Basalt

Winner of the 2014 Autumn House Press Poetry Contest, selected by Alicia Ostriker.

Winner of the 2014 Autumn House Press Poetry Contest, selected by Alicia Ostriker. Akers' collection of lyric poems celebrates our everyday world while not glossing over the pain suffered by those who inhabit it. These beautifully crafted, quiet poems are simultaneously powerful to read.

Reviews / Endorsements

“With the passion and determination of an abuse survivor, the exploring mind of a naturalist, and the soul energy of a language-loving poet, Akers gives us not one truth but layer on layer of overlapping truths. "You ask what saved me," Akers writes, and the whole book is an answer. In one poem, a tree speaks to its seedling: "Open your hands, now." In another, a leaf hosts a wasp egg, and ultimately: "The wasp breaks out / and veers into the world. The gall stays on the leaf. / Only a hole remains where the wasp bit its way out. / The leaf is beautiful, in its way. / It's got this mad cathedral at its center." Are we not all like that leaf?”—Alicia Ostriker


Winner of the San Francisco Book Award for Poetry
Long-Listed for the Julie Suk Award (2016)

ELLERY AKERS is a writer, artist, and naturalist living on the Northern California coast. Her previous collection, Knocking on the Earth, was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News. She is also the author of a children's novel, Sarah's Waterfall. Akers has won eleven national awards, including the Poetry International Prize, the John Masefield Award, the Paumanok Poetry Award, and Sierra Magazine's Nature Writing Award. Her poetry has been featured on National Public Radio and on American Life in Poetry, and has appeared in such journals as The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and The Sun. Among her honors are fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, and Headlands Center for the Arts. She has taught writing at Cabrillo College and at conferences and currently teaches private poetry workshops. An award- winning artist as well, Akers exhibits her artwork in museums and galleries nationally.

Click here for author's website.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:39:10 -0500