Paperback Price: $15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-882295-73-9


Selected Poem
Press Kit

California Morning

To winter-dull ears what a reveille,
this medley of finches, and who knows
what—west coast jays, titmice, chickadees,
mockers? It’s the gladdest ruckus
we’ve heard in months, little bird brawls,
brushing twigs so they tip last night’s rain,
splattering us with drips and chirps.

We lean out over the rail, aching
our necks to look up the skirts of trees,
wanting to get-it-get-it, go from tease
to that sweet spot the binoculars
could zoom us into, zip us up among
those yellow and blue flirts we half wish
we could be, flitting in and out

of the limbs, flaring our wings, singing
got-it-got-it, tail feathers fanned—and if
not that, can we at least drink our tea
and be at peace in the almost, in the brief,
even in the not, the flyby without,
in the tight space between stem
and leaf, between longing and let-go?

Rough Cradle


“Betsy Scholl’s poems are visual and fast moving, the whole book shot through vivid imagery…I was so dazzled by the gorgeousness of the writing…”
Stride Magazine

“As she upends perspectives, her powers of synthesis, making god’s-eyes of unlike threads, are near deific.”
Portland Phoenix

“Maine laureate Betsy Sholl is out with a seventh book of poetry that’s filled with soaring word pictures…the ideas of beauty versus darkness, grit versus comfort.”
Portland Press Herald

“Solid, moving and thoughtful, this eighth collection from the Maine poet laureate…represents patience, affection and generous attention to whoever she loves and to what she hears and sees.”
Publishers Weekly

“Betsy Sholl’s work has such fiery momentum and narrative drive that her poems seize her readers’ attention and never let go, drawing us into a profound contemplation of the marriage of blessing and destruction the world offers again and again.”
—Mark Doty

“Betsy Sholl’s Rough Cradle is a marvelous, intricate book of contraries. Ruin and healing, beauty and blight, the just and the unjust are at war, not just out there in our politics and our histories, but in here, daily, hourly, in the human soul. I love Sholl’s unyielding honesty, the great heart and deep intelligence of her vision.”
—Nancy Eimers

“For Betsy Sholl, words don’t merely bring us to the edge of life’s mysteries, they enter those places and—if not ‘solve’ things—listen, lament, praise, become song. Everything can turn into poetry, if one can only find the right words, the right music. Over and over, Sholl does. Urgent, compassionate, and lyrical, this is poetry of the highest order.”
—Theodore Deppe

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