Sunday, December 21, 2014

When A Woman's Voice Takes Flight!

Welcome to The Women Behind The Poetry, where we feature the women from the 'Journey of The Heart: Women's Spiritual Poetry Project'!  

Today I introduce you to Maureen Kwiat Meshenberg and her first poetry book, Seasons of the Soul: Transitions and Shifts of Life

One of the most rewarding and exhilarating experiences I've had from hosting the the Journey of the Heart poetry project, is that of watching women's voices find their wings, leave the nest, and fly off into their own poetry projects. Maureen's book is one such project.

I first came upon Maureen’s poetry in what appeared to be a spring cycle of her creativity. Drawing deeply from treasures she had excavated during her heart’s hibernation, poetry seemed to burst from Maureen like wildflowers in a field! It was July of 2013, and Maureen became one of the most active participants in the Journey of the Heart poetry project. 

While it was most remarkable to be on the receiving end of such a flow of vibrant poetic expression, what especially struck me was Maureen’s graceful ability to process life’s shadows and tragedy through the power and beauty of her poetry. She seemed to effortlessly use the devastating end of a 20 year marriage to catalyze her own awakening, and give birth to a river of poems in the process.

In sharing her poems online, via her own Facebook page Heart's Calling, as the visionary poet on 'Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond' and on our 'Journey of the Heart: Spiritual Poetry by Women' Maureen inspired the hearts of many readers, through her graceful grieving and creative healing. Through these and other projects her poetry flowed into, Maureen continued to encourage other women to explore writing as a means of healing oneself, and in sharing one's healing process, help others heal as well. She says it all starts with overcoming fear, stepping out of your comfort zone and just sharing:

"I write every day, it is my gift and used in ways to heal my life wounds and I believe to heal others...
If it is your heart's passion to write, go for it! I never thought I would be in the place where I am today, often thinking: 'How can I handle this with all that I have on my plate?'  The passion sustained me; my goals were reached. I would also advise you to not let fear hold you back; soar high to reach your dreams.  Writers can begin that dream at any age; just start and stay the course. There are no limits if you are passionate to have your voice heard. Step out of your comfort zone - start with a blog, social media page or online magazine; testing the water but never afraid to make a choice, take the plunge and leap across any chasm!"   

Maureen did indeed leap across that chasm! She drew from her own heart's generous nature and that of Mother Nature's nurturing spirit around her and embarked on a truly transforming journey which she shares with all of us. Maureen's new book, Seasons of the Soul: Transitions and Shifts of Life. is one of the many ways she did this. I am honored to have been asked to write the foreword for Maureen's book. I thought I would share a little except from it with you today, as I have a feeling you may find parts of your own voices echoing in Maureen's poetry: 

“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature,
which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”

 Henry David Thoreau

Tucked into the beautiful poems of this book is the illuminating narrative of a soul in an intimate dance with nature, as she discovers, explores and honors herself amidst life’s transforming turns. This poetic offering rises like a sun on the dark dawn of the environmental crisis, reminding us of the incredible healing power we can all summon, in answering Mother Earth’s clarion call: a call that reflects the call of our own souls. In her debut poetry collection, Maureen Kwiat Meshenberg not only responds to this call, but invites us to accompany her as she reaches all the wonderful places it takes her.

From rejuvenating winter and rebirthing spring, through the color bursts of summer and the inward pull of autumn—the author’s favorite season—we are ferried through a poetic river of human experience, as Maureen makes compassion a golden thread she weaves throughout every seasonal shift of her soul. Fueled with this healing component, the book overflows with attractive invitations to open, receive, and allow oneself to be deeply touched by life. Seasons of The Soul embraces life’s most defining characteristic: that of change. Drawing from the inextinguishable nature of the soul, while old perspectives of herself and her life go up in flames, Maureen’s poetry treats us to the blossoming of a voice rooted in spirit. A voice I was privileged to watch bloom, one petal at a time, as she began releasing it into the world.

We see Maureen’s gift for communicating difficult subjects in relatable ways skillfully unfold upon the pages, as her words massage the reader’s heart. A generous voice for those who have yet to find theirs, the poetry in this collection echoes journeys many of us will recognize, paths we feel we have walked upon, rivers we nearly drowned in while swimming across. In sharing the familiar without reservation, Maureen becomes another pioneer in a new lineage of contemporary women poets inviting readers to rediscover themselves, and, as American poet Louise Bogan once said: “…give back to the world, through her work, a portion of its lost heart”

To obtain a copy of Maureen's book, you may click here. Maureen is already working on her next book: a second volume to her debut anthology. To keep up with Maureen's poetry projects, you may follow her on her website here, or Amazon author's page here, or her Facebook page Heart's Calling, here.  Click the video below to watch a trailer for her new book: 

If you wish to share a response please click "comments" BELOW. Thank you!  

~If you are one of the poetesses from 'Journey of the Heart', and would like to appear in this blog, just click here to request an interview. We are excited to learn more about you!~

~If you write poetry and would like to share it on 'Journey of The Heart', click here for submission guidelines. And thank you for your interest!~