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Two Cats Watching and Lester's Widow by Mary Lee Gowland

Two Cats Watching and Lester's Widow

by Mary Lee Gowland

270 pages
Poems from the 1980s to the present chronicling Mary Lee's life, loves, and losses from the beach in Santa Monica, to the Sierra Nevada foothills, and the Texas Hill Country.

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Category: Poetry
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About the Book
The poems in this collection were written from 1984 to the present. The first part, "Two Cats Watching" describes Mary Lee Gowland's life on the beach in Santa Monica, to twenty years in the Sierra Foothills, and finally in the Texas Hill Country where, at 68 she finally found her soul mate, then was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The second part, "Lester's Widow" is poems written about people she imagined, or read about. Many of the poems were previously published in anthologies, journals, newspapers and magazines.


Gowland's writing has the depth of humanity that knows how to balance delicately between the unexpected ironies of life and the unchanging unconquerable bonds to other sentient beings. She helps us "float above the constant earthquakes of anticipation" and put our "lives back together, stitch[ing] them like a perfect incision." Reading these poems sharpens our vision and deepens our connection to all that is real, painfully beautiful, and soul-stirring in life, until we can see "the other side of clouds" and the "unseen universe." Such is the courageous act of writing poetry.
- Carmen Tafolla, Texas State Poet Laureate 2015
Each poem in this collection is a small revelation—from bodies to breakwaters, staplers to sad neighbors, Mary Lee Gowland mines the ordinary to reveal the extraordinary. In language that is equally candid and deeply compassionate, she gives us the world.
- Karen Holden, author of Book of Changes



About the Author
Mary Lee Gowland Mary Lee Gowland is the author of three illustrated poetry books, a book of writing exercises for children and a memoir.

She taught creative writing and hosted readings in California before moving to Texas in 2010 where she is active in the literary community.



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