Lesley Clinton’s debut chapbook of poems, Calling the Garden from the Grave, is now available for advance sale from Finishing Line Press! Pre-order your copy here.
Calling the Garden from the Grave explores our restless human yearnings and spiritual endurance. Pieces in this collection have won awards from the Poetry Society of Texas, Press Women of Texas, and the Houston Poetry Fest. Settings as vast as the West Texas desert and intimate as a one-bedroom apartment invite the reader to both adventure and contemplation.
In these pages, the reader meets trailblazers and homebodies, mothers and daughters, lovers and loners, the famed and the obscure. Each wrestles in some way with a God-given calling. Each struggles to bloom in soil made dry by quotidian loss or past transgressions.
Clinton offers a sacramental view of the world informed by her Catholic faith. No small grace goes unseen in these poems; each tiny sacrifice and moment of growth is honored. This collection brings God’s numinous, intangible space of fortitude and renewal into the abundant, greening poetry garden.
“Lesley Clinton‘s Calling the Garden from the Grave is a book of paradoxes, and of wishes. Opposites attract, Clinton might say: with magic, the “churning salt-breeze / of elsewhere.” I was delighted to see so much range and surprise. This is a chapbook to be read and savored.”
–Kim Bridgford, Editor-in-chief, Mezzo Cammin
“This slender volume utilizes language to uniquely stamp this writer’s vocation, her multi-faceted “calling.” Reading these poems becomes a joyful reminder of St. John Paul II’s Letter to Artists (1999) as he acknowledged the sacred tasks of artists “as [they] are led all the more to see themselves and the whole of creation with eyes able to contemplate and give thanks, and to raise to God a hymn of praise.” With poet Lesley Clinton, let us “Lie in wait for the spark to land, / and tense for the bright reply.”
–Sarah Cortez, President & Founder, Catholic Literary Arts