In her debut collection, Marg Walker offers us the fruits of several decades of experience, growth, and reflection. We repeatedly encounter an individual voicing her delight in common experience and her attentiveness to those unique marks of character that draw us to one another deeply, and sometimes break us apart. Scenes recalled from childhood retain their mystery and convey the confusion and pain involved. Other poems recall the exuberance of early adulthood, when stargazing from the roof of a parking ramp was the height of ecstasy. Throughout the book’s three sections Walker displays the qualities that first presented themselves to her as a child when, as she describes it, “you become true / to your first nature / speechless and primitive / attuned ...”
The poems are rich in sensory observation, from the smell of yak butter in the mountains of Tibet, to the slap and clatter of a street market, to a country night luminous with fireflies. Walker writes with an open heart and an appetite for human connection. There is plenty of beauty and freshness here, but also maturity and insight.
Through narratives and laments, portraits of friends, and meditations on family, loss, resilience, and the solace of the natural world, Walker implicitly underscores the benefits of moving beyond our sureties and comforts to give life everything we’ve got. How else are we going to claim ourselves fully?
Marg Walker is a lifelong writer who pursues her abiding interest in the human voice through poetry, creative nonfiction, and choral music. During her professional career as a consultant, Marg specialized in narrative inquiry as a source of learning for foundations and nonprofits working in the human services and the arts. She is a member of Unity Singers, an a cappella ensemble, and has collaborated with choral artists to create programs of music and poetry. Marg’s poems have appeared in numerous publications, and a few lucky poems have been chosen by composers to be transformed into song. Marg has one adult son. She lives with her husband in St. Paul, Minnesota.