Books & Prose

From the Other Room

by Anna M. Warrock

"A remarkable coolness pervades the poems, in content and sensitive attention to form....these poems are mature and gorgeous." - Danielle Legros Georges

Winner Slate Roof Press Chapbook Contest

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Price: $17.00
Letterpress Cover
Handsewn Binding
ISBN: 978-1-63587-418

Anna M. Warrock speaks the language of grief with eloquence and courage. She understands that the experience of death changes the experience of life, that the shock of loss "reshapes / the room, the lamps, / the dust." In spare, precise, achingly lyrical verse, Warrock faces her ghosts and transforms pain into art. An adolescent girl stares into a cupboard after her mother's funeral, realizing "the glasses do not know my mother / is dead," that the world spins on despite our grief, and creates her own ritual, opening and closing the cupboard door, struggling to move on. The effect is quietly shattering. These poems may or may not console the poet. They will console the rest of us, who have been there, and who owe Anna M. Warrock our deepest gratitude.

- Martín Espada, author of Vivas to Those Who Have Failed

These elegiac poems approach profound loss as one might a new language, awed at first by its strange idioms and later by their beauty. I am reminded, reading Warrock, of the heartbreaking wit of Szymborska. Here, the speaker remembers, not with nostalgia but with wonderment, coming back to the knowing of a thing, setting it sorrowfully in its new and perfect context. From the Other Room is a lamentation, but tender and thorough. The clean, dry-eyed poems are authoritative, but their certainty is humble and quietly generous. The melancholy shines through with gemlike radiance.

- Frannie Lindsay, author of If Mercy

Anna M. Warrock paints in subtle color the varying shades of loss, with white snows that "fall dark against the sky," red seeds, lilac wind, the silver quality of the moon and of glass. A remarkable coolness pervades the poems, in content and sensitive attention to form-a calm necessary to the revelation of truth surrounding death within the confines of a family. Reckoning with what it means to live in the wake of early hurt, these poems are mature and gorgeous.

- Danielle Legros Georges, Poet Laureate, City of Boston, Author of The Dear Remote Nearness of You



Horizon offers 18 poems, published in The Madison ReviewWild Earth, the Harvard Review, and other journals, on family, joy, salmon, infatuation, grief, car rides, journeys, paintings, and dreams.

For information on ordering, please contact Anna M. Warrock here.

Kiss Me Goodnight

Kiss Me Goodnight
2006 Minnesota Book Award Finalist
Contact to order for $16.95

Stories and Poems by Women
Who Were Girls When Their Mothers Died

Edited by Ann Murphy O'Fallon & Margaret Noonan Vaillancourt
Introduction by Anna M. Warrock

The 51 women whose stories, poems, and essays appear in Kiss Me Goodnight are courageous travelers on a journey. They write unflinchingly of the cancer, suicide, alcoholism, accidents, Nazis, and other agents of death that killed their mothers. They write vivid and haunting descriptions of the paths their lives took without their mothers. They also capture the sweet memories of their mothers — the color and smell of their clothes, the taste of the food they prepared, the light on their faces, the texture of their hair, and the memory of their kisses. Kiss Me Goodnight take readers out of their heads and into their hearts, where healing may begin.

Kiss Me Goodnight collects 25 short stories and essays and 72 poems. The women range in age from 15 to 80-plus, and the works are interspersed with photos of some of the authors with their mothers. 

“A deeply moving book. At first one hears only the pain. Then one hears the courage, the strength, and the indomitable faith.”
Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Kiss Me Goodnight is a living testimony to the power of a mother’s love and the nature of immortality. This book will heal people!”
Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings

 “It moved me to tears and then to an urgent sense that I must share this book. We need more beautiful places to grieve our losses. Becoming whole is a life's work, and grieving fully and sharing stories that break the spell is part of the process. Kiss Me Goodnight gives one a haven to do so and serves this sacred process."
Marilyn Zimmerman, Associate Professor, Dept. of Art and Art History, Wayne State University


If you are a child when your mother dies, the unimaginable has happened. You travel alone to a continent of grief no one else can ever find. In that land, your loneliness is complete, your longing for a mother holds you captive, sometimes for years. You are changed by that travel. You know now that disasters happen and without any warning of how deeply you will hurt. It feels as if you will hurt forever, and now you know what forever means. You are five, or seven, or thirteen, or eighteen. As have the women in Kiss Me Goodnight, you must make your way through a landscape that can never again be called normal.

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Garden Writing

A Gardener Boards the Plane

By Anna M. Warrock

Attention ladies and gentlemen. We are now ready to board the flight to Eden.

Will our first-class passengers, those who have successfully grown citrus and jasmine plants without scale or white fly, please board first.

Those with young children or whose hands and knees and shoes have as much dirt as those young children are privileged to board next.

Our business class passengers, those who have a garden plan and follow it, please board now, and would you be so kind as to help other passengers with their baggage.

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Discoveries in the Insect World

By Anna M. Warrock

Nature can be wonderfully specific. Yes, monarchs love milkweed—there’s a toxin in the plant that makes the brightly striped caterpillars distasteful to predators, and somehow the monarchs figured this out. But it’s not just monarchs that are linked to specific plants.

The grapevine beetle (Pelidnota punctate) came back on the river grape that frames my front porch. Also called the spotted June bug, this beetle simply appeared when I first planted the vine (five years ago). I don’t know of other river grape vines except maybe a half-mile away; mine was a pass-along plant. The beetle, soft tan with dark spots on the edge of its elytra (the hard shell “wings” protecting the real wings) eats holes in the leaves but does not do much damage and is not considered a major pest. Among plentiful leaves, it happily occupies its small link in the ecosystem.

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Late Clean-up for a Native Pollinator Garden

By Anna M. Warrock

They have been cozy all winter, those eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and chrysalises—the pollinators-to-be. Some parents hid caterpillar eggs in the leaves, others burrowed into stalks to lay eggs. Some insects made it to chrysalis stage and await warmer temperatures—and a coincident bloom of flowers—to emerge. The insects awaken given particular levels of moisture, light, temperature, and their internal clocks.

Which is why attentive gardeners do not clean up their native pollinator (NP) garden right away. Many of the plants are caterpillar food on which parents deposit eggs and overwintering caterpillars often hunker down nearby.

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Overwintering: The Living Room Diaries 2017

By Anna M. Warrock

I think climate change has come to my living room.

My Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa), which I tout as a hardy, carefree houseplant that in 30 years never had a bug on it, in December was covered in aphids. Why now? Is increased heat coming from the south-facing window where my plants hang out during winter? (Internet research reveals that aralias are prone to bugs, but maybe that rap is topsy-turvy “truthyness”—this was a 30-year clean record!)

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The Celtic Seasons in a Somerville Garden

By Anna M. Warrock

pumpkinsFor the past several years I’ve marked the seasons the way European pagans did, pagan here meaning one who lives on the land (the original meaning of paganus in Rome was something akin to farmer, as opposed to one who is urban). The solstices and the equinoxes name the extent of the sun’s journey across our grid of understanding, the imaginary lines in the sky or on the globe.  But everyone knows that winter begins before the Winter Solstice and that summer is hottest after the sun turns south again at the Summer Solstice. The seasons marked by cross-quarter days define those stretches better.

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Plants Out of Balance

By Anna M. Warrock

multifloraAlas! A favorite plant—I thought it a hard native, wild but with a homely beauty, fragrant, white single roses on a panicle, hips to feed the birds—is invasive! A gardening friend told me, “The agricultural extension services pushed that plant in the 1930s as a ‘living fence’ because it’s so hardy. But now it’s crowding out other plants.”

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Plant of the Month: Narcissus

DaffodilBy Anna M. Warrock

When I was a student in England, a young man once smiled at me and ate a yellow daffodil. Although the practice isn’t to be encouraged—the bulb contains a toxic alkaloid—I will forever see in his expression the glow of the daffodil inside him.

Narcissus (we’ll get to names in a moment) have a long heritage as tokens of spring, apothecary plants, trade items, subjects for hybridization, and stalwarts of spring gardens. This adaptable mountain plant was cultivated in early medieval times and has naturalized throughout Europe; Virginia has naturalized varieties from English colonists’ gardens. A dry bulb travels well. The narcissus spread from its Mediterranean home through the Middle East to the Himalayas, China, and Japan, following the Silk Road and suggesting a universal delight in its spring joy.

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The Night Garden

by Anna M. Warrock

Sometimes at night I go down the back stairs and into the garden. I am drawn outside by the smell and sound of what is alive in the dark. Voices may echo over the houses and a car may rumble up the street, but the night garden holds a dreamlike intensity.

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Buckets and Tubs

By Anna M. Warrock

tubWhile rooting round in the basement in January, rearranging pots, staring at seed-starting trays, trying to pretend this activity resembled gardening, something unexpected became clear. I have more plastic tubs, buckets, and bags than watering cans. For someone covetous of just the right watering can and appreciative of the many forms they take, to discover upwards of 12 tubs was, well, slightly embarrassing. I had no idea—I covet tubs?

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P.M. Gardening

bulbsBy Anna M. Warrock

It is suddenly November.  Two boxes on the back stairs hold 160 bulbs for my garden (tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, species tulips, squill, crocus), to be planted in between my full-time job, family, and the laundry.  The change in daylight hours has snuck up on me, but I do not panic.  It is the season for P.M. Gardening.

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Review: The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

secret gardenBy Anna M. Warrock

There comes a moment in every childhood when we become certain the family we live with is not really our family. These strange people do not understand us. We belong elsewhere, we decide with a sad, determined fierceness. Thus begins the process of making a home within ourselves.

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