by Michael S. Glaser
Second Place Winner of The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize, 2022
As the increasing complexities of our world press on with their insistent yammering for our attention, it often feels difficult to hear the soft whisperings of our own spirits as they try to encourage us toward those choices which might be most meaningful for our lives. In Elemental Things, Michael Glaser employs poetry to grapple with that reality and show how attitudes of both gratitude and wonder might serve as nurturing companions for our journeys.
Early Praise for Elemental Things:
These poems return us to the sacred in our everyday lives, calling us back to “the language of awe,” as the poet puts it so gorgeously in the opening poem. These poems feel both elemental and essential themselves, capturing so many holy moments in nature, inviting us into the solitude and presence from which absorbing poetry is born.
—James Crews, contest judge
poet, editor of How to Love the World
Elemental Things is filled with invitational pause reminding us that beneath the noise and pace we create, lies the overlooked blessings that have accompanied us all along. These are poems with room enough to allow the reader to incorporate their own experience and turn the small, uncertain, crumpled words inside our own fists into the kind of poem we want to live by. If pen to paper is a prayer—these are word temples.
— Deanna Nikaido, poet, educator, visual artist
I have long admired the wisdom and artistry of Michael S. Glaser’s poems. He writes with compassion and depth, masterfully capturing the fragility, dignity, and complexity of the human condition. His poems remind us what a gift it is to be alive, even during difficult times. In Elemental Things he explores what it means to be blessed in a broken world and, like a modern-day Adam, he challenges us to awaken from the amnesia we experience when we forget to honor and connect with each other and the natural world. Every poem hints at ways we can move toward wholeness. Glaser’s poems remind us, gently, to love who we are and what we can still become.
—Elizabeth Lund, reviewer and host of Poetic Lines
About the Author
Michael S. Glaser is a professor Emeritus at St. Mary’s College where he served for 50 years. A Poet Laureate of Maryland (2004-2009), Glaser has received awards for his poetry, his teaching, and his service to poetry and the poetic tradition in Maryland. A former Board member of the Maryland Humanities, and the Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, he served as a Maryland State Arts Council Poet-in-the-Schools for nearly 25 years and now co-leads retreats which embrace the reading and writing of poetry as a means of self-reflection and personal growth.
Glaser has published several collections of his own poetry, edited three anthologies and co-edited The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton (BOA 2012). He writes book reviews for The Friends Journal and is the proud father of five children and ten grandchildren. He now lives in Hillsborough, NC with his wife, the educator and Courage and Renewal facilitator, Kathleen W. Glaser.