paper • 80 pages • 16.95
ISBN-13: 978-1-945588-94-5

In Light of Stars

Bruce Willard

Willard’s love of music combines with his love and respect for the natural world. Often rooted in, or coming out of, domestic encounters, the poems of this collection rise up (much like the clouds over his oft-traversed Rockies), as the speaker throws his attention to earth and sky, better to understand his own dynamic and shifting inner weather.


The sycamore leaves leathery,
flannelled one side,

a congregation of hands
across the lawn,

palms skyward,
waiting for rain.

The ground
is gunpowder;

will set it off.

The Chinese say every storm
brings prosperity.

Six Septembers
our eyes have been dry,

red-lined, patient.
What becomes us

when the rains arrive?

Praise from Christopher Buckley
Praise from Katie Ford

In Light of Stars presents a poetry that engages the larger questions of our place on earth, a poetry that lifts us beyond personal loss to moments cherished and made brilliant by close attention to and appreciation of the natural world. Bruce Willard’s lyric voice, craft, and imagination are authentic and inspired. When he asks, ‘How do you decide / to do anything one last time’ I am compelled to think of us all standing here, looking up for the time we have. . . .

Hovering inside of this book is the paradox of solitude: we yearn for it, we are pained by it. And when someone we love dies, these beautiful poems attest, nothing is ever perfectly quiet again. In Light of Stars is as earthward as it is skyward, and Bruce Willard’s imagination is at once corporeal and hauntingly spiritual. You can hear the living and the dead breathe in this book, which is to say: it gives me hope.