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The Way Home is a compelling book filled with colorful characters and dramatic images. Widerkehr writes of a difficult, yet deserving father, the plights of fragile mental patients, life's beauty and transience - all with a keen eye and compassionate heart.
Craig Lesley, author of Burning Fence and The Sky Fisherman
Widerkehr takes us along on journeys through a family member's mental illness and his father's tenderness and cruelty. When his accountant father dies, Widerkehr writes, "I can't divide zero into you and not get infinity." These poems, set in the gray rains of an un-pacific northwest, take us "far away, not on a road, maybe deeper."
Peggy Shumaker, author of Gnawed Bones and Just Breathe Normally
These sophisticated and gorgeous poems are enlivened by a large spirit, one which fully examines a life marked by both celebration and loss. Widerkehr draws clarity from "a gibberish of twisted roots," and honors the people who have been the fabric of his life. The entire book can be read as a troubled, loving prayer that values the world.
James Bertolino, author of Finding Water, Holding Stone
"Actions speak louder than words," says the father in one of Richard Widerkehr's poems. Fortunately for us, that can't be the poet's motto. Richard's words possess their own sort of quiet power in poems that surprise with their quirky originality, and their own evocative climate. In a note of irony, Widerkehr, in The Way Home, with only his words, says goodbye to that father.
Lynda Schor, author of The Body Parts Shop and Seduction
I don't know why this book is so unique and special, but it is. It's not one detail laid down after another, or the shock of tragic events, that captures the reader. It's Widerkehr's voice, his searing questions, his vulnerability, the honest details, Yiddish quotes, surprising images and ultimately the forgiveness that runs through these poems that make them unforgettable. Widerkehr is a poet who knows his craft and his heart. This book delivers both.
Gayle Kaune, author of Still Life in the Physical World
Richard Widerkehr's poetry comfortably links nature with the cognitive world. Since poets are known to use language as a shortcut to the soul itself, I believe these poems can become essential to readers. I think Widerkehr got it right.
Anita Boyle, author of Bamboo Equals Loon