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A poetry collection on the harsh and beautiful northern Midwestern environment and the sturdily pragmatic, yet bizarrely idealistic people, it produces. However, it is not only this. Cold Songs is about the permeability of the human soul how we bleed into the world and other people and how the environment and the divine and other humans seep into us. Mysticism starts in our recognition of the world around us. It’s in the moonlight, the songbird, and the black river; it’s in the mathematics of petals, orbits, and tree branches. This way of experiencing ourselves in the universe is about far more than anthropomorphizing or idolizing the landscape. There is a simultaneous struggle both to connect and individuate in the hearts and minds of humanity. A longing for that power and a great fear and respect, as well.
“The northern Midwest is less of a stage and more of a character in this excellent debut collection. In the tradition of Annie Dillard, Mary Oliver, and Peter Matthiessen, Brothers encounters nature as a mirror, a window, a door, a conduit to a better understanding of ourselves. At one point, the subject of a poem lies in the grass of a deer’s bed, and your mind will be similarly impressed with the wild, organic power of these poems.” —Ben Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh.
Dometa Wiegand Brothers is a native of the north woods of Wisconsin. She holds a BA and an MSTE from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and a PhD from Washington State University. She has taught at universities in Wisconsin, Washington, Idaho, Alabama, and Iowa. She is the author of the scholarly monograph On All Sides Infinity, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Her poetry has also been anthologized in Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland. Dometa Wiegand Brothers currently lives and writes in central Iowa.