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Many Parishes

Adrian Koesters

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  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.00" x 9.00"
  • ISBN: 978-1-938144-17-2
  • Publication Date: 2013-12-15
  • BrickHouse Books, Inc.

Availability: In stock

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Many Parishes

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Koesters’ Many Parishes is an original. The poems seem to smack the hard-ass contemporary world up against a deep spiritual sense, until we see they’re one and the same. Adrian Koesters is able to write of men calling out to a ten-year old “spinster” to “come on down, sweetheart, I got something over here to show you,” and allow us to feel in her small, frightened heart the identical anguish of soul as in the nun who’s “divided from the principalities and goes in terror of them.”  These poems, like the nuns, “take things personally.” They’re lyrical confessions of the deepest griefs—abuse, divorce, doubt, and loneliness. They provide absolution, and positively joy, in their skillful and lucid singing. —Fleda Brown, author of No Need of Sympathy


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"We learn/love’s language out of bodies," Koesters writes, knowing that such learning involves great pain.  This forceful collection searches for the "secret answer/that settles the question/how anyone survives."  The speaker in more than one poem is "an apprentice of how to get away," giving voice (via her one body) to the lives of "the body below me, centuries worth of it and the centuries ahead of it."  These poems speak for generations of women and children, and they do not forgive all.  They voice their outrage and sing of well-aimed compassion.  With intelligence, humor, and depth, these poems simmer the beans for "that soup of memory and sustenance/...good enough to feed the world."—Peggy Shumaker, author of Toucan Nest     


Koesters’ Many Parishes is an original. The poems seem to smack the hard-ass contemporary world up against a deep spiritual sense, until we see they’re one and the same. Adrian Koesters is able to write of men calling out to a ten-year old “spinster” to “come on down, sweetheart, I got something over here to show you,” and allow us to feel in her small, frightened heart the identical anguish of soul as in the nun who’s “divided from the principalities and goes in terror of them.”  These poems, like the nuns, “take things personally.” They’re lyrical confessions of the deepest griefs—abuse, divorce, doubt, and loneliness. They provide absolution, and positively joy, in their skillful and lucid singing. —Fleda Brown, author of No Need of Sympathy


What a book!  Here are elegant poems that chew on and rock to the problems of human existence "in a world where even right things/go wrong" and here is God,  present but silent as "the men who crawl the back gates calling for her . . . because she is small [and] they are not,/because they are exposed and need a hand."—Hilda Raz, poet and editor, author of All Odd and Splendid

Adrian Koesters

Adrian Gibbons Koesters holds an MFA in poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, and a Ph.D. in fiction and poetry from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Hotel Amerika, Saranac Review, International Poetry Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is also the host of the online recorded reading series for Air Schooner, and she is a fiction editor for A River and Sound Review journal

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