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New Year’s Poetry  Recommendations from Audre Hill

This list of poems from features some favorites (in bold). Enjoy! ~Audre

The New Year” by Carrie Williams Clifford
For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet” by Joy Harjo
Counting, This New Year’s Morning, What Powers Yet Remain To Me” by Jane Hirshfield
The New Decade” by Hieu Minh Nguyen
Burning the Old Year” by Naomi Shihab Nye
Archaic Torso of Apollo” by Rainer Maria Rilke
Elegy in Joy” by Muriel Rukeyser
The Passing of the Year” by Robert W. Service
Never Ever” by Brenda Shaughnessy
January” by William Carlos Williams


Recommended by Ken Beck

“The Left Hand of Darkness” (1969) by Ursula K Le Guin is described as one of her masterpieces, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel. Le Guin was the first woman to win these awards.  Interesting fact: She was the daughter of writer and anthropologist Theodora Kroeber, who wrote “Ishi in Two Worlds.” Le Guin passed away in 2018.

Ishi in Two Worlds is a must-read biographical account of Ishi, the last known member of the Yahi Native American people of Northern California first published in 1961.

Recommended by Jess Frisbie

“A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns” (2018) by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson. From the jacket: “Practical, friendly, and funny, the easygoing spirit of the comic should be a big help to those new to and not yet comfortable using third person pronouns.” All true!

“Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution” (2017 2nd ed) by Susan Stryker. From chirpbooks: “Transgender History takes a chronological approach to the subject of transgender history, with each chapter covering major movements, writings, and events. … Transgender History includes informative sidebars highlighting quotes from major texts and speeches in transgender history and brief biographies of key players, plus excerpts from transgender memoirs and discussion of treatments of transgenderism in popular culture.”

Recommended by Susan Nelson Kluk

Three book series by Starhawk (Miriam Simos). The first is described as “an epic tale of freedom and slavery, love and war, and the potential futures of humankind tells of a twenty-first century California clan caught between two clashing worlds, one based on tolerance, the other on repression.” “Walking to Mercury” is the prequel to the first publication, while “City of Refuge” is the long-awaited and richly rewarding sequel. All those dreaming of a better world should get a big kick out of this series despite the violence.

  • “The Fifth Sacred Thing”  (1994) 
  • “Waking to Mercury” (1997)
  • “City of Refuge” (2015)




Declaration of the Four Sacred Things (from the series)

  • The earth is a living, conscious being. In company with cultures of many different times and places, we name these things as sacred: air, fire, water, and earth.
  • Whether we see them as the breath, energy, blood, and body of the Mother, or as the blessed gifts of a Creator, or as symbols of the interconnected systems that sustain life, we know that nothing can live without them.
  • To call these things sacred is to say that they have a value beyond their usefulness for human ends, that they themselves became the standards by which our acts, our economics, our laws, and our purposes must be judged. no one has the right to appropriate them or profit from them at the expense of others.
  • Any government that fails to protect them forfeits its legitimacy.
  • All people, all living things, are part of the earth life, and so are sacred. No one of us stands higher or lower than any other. Only justice can assure balance: only ecological balance can sustain freedom. Only in freedom can that fifth sacred thing we call spirit flourish in its full diversity.
  • To honor the sacred is to create conditions in which nourishment, sustenance, habitat, knowledge, freedom, and beauty can thrive. To honor the sacred is to make love possible.
  • To this we dedicate our curiosity, our will, our courage, our silences, and our voices. To this we dedicate our lives.