Her Secret Dream
poems by Rita Quillen


Her Secret Dream is available from your favorite local bookstore, from Amazon, or directly from Wind.
Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Dr
Nicholasville, KY 40356


To Read the poems of Rita Quillen is to read a writer attentive to the natural world, as seen in poems such as "The Good Life," where "Tobacco Teepees/ stand desolate/ after the massacre" and "Weary sunflowers/ look like women in yellow bonnets/ nodding in the last hot dose/ of August sun." She is also a poet adept at both free verse and complex verse forms such as the pantoum; a writer capable of adopting a convincing persona, as in her series of "Mad Farmerís Wife" poems. Ultimately, however, the new and selected poems in Her Secret Dream reveal an author whose major focus is the complex connections of family, connections that transcend even death. An old Chinese maxim argues that no one is truly dead until he or she is forgotten. Many of the poems in this book are a fierce refusal to forget, an acknowledgement of the continuing influence of the dead on living. "Skeleton Truth," for instance, has the narrator realizing she now possesses "my motherís hands." A similar connection is made in "Apple Butter," remembering a shared moment of mother and daughter canning together. In "My Grandfather Photographs His Son, 1937," the poem concludes with the speaker noting that father, grandfather, and speaker are "All three of us one/ trinity of regret." I have admired Rita Quillenís poetry for years, and this collection will have an honored place on my bookshelf beside volumes by Jeff Daniel Marion, Kay Byer, Robert Morgan, and Fred Chappell. It is my hope that Her Secret Dream will find a well-deserved place on many, many bookshelves.
                   --- Ron Rash