Paradoxical Glory—and the Start of a Great New Year for BCC Press

One of the things that makes us happy at BCC Press is poetry. Lots and lots of poetry. And that means that we are going to be really happy this year, as we are coming right out of the gate with a great book of poetry: Paradoxical Glory by Nancy Heiss. As you would expect from BCC Press, the poetry is amazing, possibly life-changing. But wait, there’s more. Along with the great poems, this is also a book of great art–drawing by Brooke Newhart accompany the poems.

In her introduction to the volume, Heiss explains the genesis of these poems. Here are a few excerpts :

These poems came to me in a season of grief. I was mourning so many losses, so many changes, so many partings, and I felt very uprooted. Among other challenges, our family made two back-to-back cross-country moves, my mother-in-law (one of my biggest supporters and best friends) passed away, and, with the birth of my last baby, I suffered a mid-mom crisis. . . .

So, I began to search for an identity, a purpose beyond motherhood. It hasn’t been an easy quest. . . . I have been told to simply “embrace my role as mother,” a remark which stung because I had embraced that role, yet it was abandoning me. I was told that reaching beyond motherhood was “sinfully selfish,” that I should be content with what I had. I wasn’t sure that was possible because I’ve watched women sink into depression as their children left home, unable to fill the hole left behind. I’ve known women who have grown weary or bored with motherhood and have watched as their zest for life withers away. I have seen women turn to self-destructive or family-destructive behaviors to deal with their feelings of isolation and uselessness. . . .

Piling on to the dreadful feelings of watching my last baby grow up, I was then faced with the sudden loss of my mother-in-law and moving my family thousands of miles away from everything they knew. It was so overwhelming that I found myself at a loss for words. I could hardly string a sentence together, which was a strange feeling for me because as early as I knew I wanted to be a mother, I knew that I was a writer. I had always written—quietly—for myself, but suddenly I couldn’t. Everything felt like too much; it was too big to write down. So, I stopped trying to force my big ideas onto a page and clung to the tiniest of phrases that would come to me in the middle of the night

But enough talk, let’s look at some examples of poetry and art coming together to form awesomeness:

Here are a few samples


  1. I now want to buy this book. The poem Something g Extraordinary feels like it carries on the tradition of Carol Lynn Pearson. Well done you.

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