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Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Thursday, October 19 - 5:30 PM
Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Christine Swanberg’s books include TONIGHT ON THIS LATE ROAD (Erie St., 1984), INVISIBLE STRING (Erie St., 1990), BREAD UPON THE WATERS (UW:Whitewater, 1990), SLOW MIRACLE (Lake Shore, 1992), THE TENDERNESS OF MEMORY (Plainview Press, 1995), THE RED LACQUER ROOM (Chiron Press, 2001) and WHO WALKS AMONG THE TREES WITH CHARITY(Wind Publications, KY, 2005) and THE ALLELUIA TREE (Puddin’head Press, IL). 

Hundreds of her poems have appeared in many journals such as SPOON RIVER, THE AVOCET, WIND, LOUISVILLE and many others. Recently GARDEN BLESSINGS, BACK TO JOY,  GRATITUDE PRAYERS AND POEMS, and EARTH BLESSINGS (June Cotner Anthologies) have included Christine’s poems as well as SOUNDINGS: POETRY OF DOOR COUNTY. An interview appears in POET’S MARKET 2008.  Christine is a writing teacher for museums, churches, arts councils, and women’s organizations. Recent essays appear in WOMEN ON POETRY and WRITING AFTER RETIREMENT. In Rockford she has won the Mayor’s Art (Lawrence Gloyd) Award for Education,  a YWCA Leader Luncheon Award for the Arts, and the Womanspirit Award at Womanspace.

She has given readings and workshops throughout the USA, most recently Palm Beach Community Center, FL;  Sedona, AZ;  Poetry Rendezvous in Taos, NM;  Door Country, Dickenson Series; The Clearing, Door Country, WI; and many others. Recently two of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes by CHIRON.

Hummingbird Whisperer

Glory be to the fierce little warriors

who return to my garden every year.

Come, enjoy, drink the various nectars,

tiny bold ones. You without any fear.

Teach me to cultivate fervor and focus.  

Stay in our shared secret sanctuary

created for you with bergamot and phlox, 

fuchsia and the feeder hung on the tree

you visit each morning. Hello! Goodbye! 

Who could be freer? Fast as a torpedo

when I'm digging, spading, you catch my eye.

Graceful as the wind--glanced from my window.

You share delight with your earthbound sister. 

You've made me a hummingbird whisperer.

Cristina M. R. Norcross lives in Wisconsin with her husband, their 2 sons, and a cat who loves to sleep on her warm, humming computer.  She is the founding editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review, and the author of 7 poetry collections.  Her most recent books include Amnesia and Awakenings (Local Gems Press, 2016), and Still Life Stories (Aldrich Press, 2016).  Her works have been published, or are forthcoming, in: The Toronto Quarterly, Your Daily Poem, Lime Hawk, The Poetry Storehouse, Right Hand Pointing, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others.  Cristina’s work also appears in numerous anthologies.  She is the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day.  Find out more about this poet at:  www.cristinanorcross.com

The Last Party

(for Josie)

It all begins to fade

in the land of forget-me-not years.

One moment I am dropping a slice of lemon into my tea –

the next moment

the back of my bed raises

with the click of a magic button.

Crosswords are my saving grace.

All of the clues –

a familiar comfort.

I wonder who keeps filling them in?

She should be more considerate and use a pencil.

There is a woman who comes and points

to pictures on my dresser.

Sometimes I am good at the guessing game –

sometimes not.

She is kind though and brings me a new nightgown

with each visit.

In times of joyful suspension,

the room is filled

with people I have not seen in years.

Gertrude’s fur wrap was always too showy,

but it looks good on her now.

Bill is busy serving cocktails,

while they set up another Canasta game.

It is a party of laughter and noise.

You should come –

before it all disappears.