by Judy K. Mosher
A Poetry Box Chapbook Prize Winner – First Place
Shrinking Bones by Judy K. Mosher is the first place winner of The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize for 2018. These poems grew from the author’s journey with her aging mother and her memory of her “past paid work-life” as a professor of anatomy and physiology. The collection is a rich marriage of poetic observation joined with an in-depth understanding of the human body. It portrays a beautiful story of love, loss and grief, as well as the complex relationship between mother and daughter.
About the Author
Judy K Mosher, Ph.D., writes poetry and prose from her home in Santa Fe, where she wanders the mountains and arroyos with her golden retriever, Jessie. Home for over thirty years, New Mexico always kindles awe.
Judy’s professional life primarily consisted of teaching in higher education. Her Ph.D. specialties were Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology. As a professor, she facilitated nursing, physical therapy, and physical education students’ mastery of anatomy and physiology. Judy has also worked in academic, environmental, and community non-profit administration. She recently earned a Certificate in Creative Writing from Santa Fe Community College.
Many American adult children experience the challenges of distance when their parents age. Judy feels blessed that her Mother relocated making Santa Fe her home during her final twenty years. When poor health arrived, geographical convenience and a strong adult mother-daughter friendship provided a container until Evelyn passed at age eighty-eight. Their time together seeded the poems in this collection.
Her prose and poetry have been published in Adobe Walls, CALYX, Malpais Review, Noyo River Review, and 200newmexicopoems.wordpress.com among other places. She has received finalist and honorable mention awards in numerous poetry contests. Judy co-authored Bosque Rhythms, a collection of poems dedicated to Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, with Lee Dunne, Cheryl Marita, Paula Miller and Elizabeth O’Brien. Bosque Rhythms was a 2015 Finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Shrinking Bones is her first chapbook.[Website: http://JudyKMosher.wordpress.com]
What They’re Saying . . .
“In Shrinking Bones you come to know a mother and her daughter as Judy K. Mosher’s mother ages, shrinks, and dwindles toward death. Mosher skillfully juxtaposes each poem with a description of bones – fingertips, ossicles, orbits, even a phantom limb – to build a framework of tender poems that detail how her mother cared for her, mellowed as time passed, even what made her mother laugh. Mosher’s sensitive and delicate poetic touch shares how she tended her mother’s wounds at the end of a long life and holds her memory now with each look in the mirror. If your relationship with your mother was not thus, you might wish it could have been.”
~ Tricia Knoll, author of How I Learned To Be White and Broadfork Farm
“As the skeleton is the hardscape of the body, so poetry creates a precise armature of language on which to hang experience and emotion. Judy Mosher has done a masterful job of bringing anatomy and poetry together in a way that enhances the understanding of both. The metaphors here give the reader new insight into the universality — and specifics — of the mother-daughter bond. An enlightening collection!”
~ Miriam Sagan, poet
“To witness the death of her mother and her own grief, Mosher has invoked the metaphor of the bones of the body to describe the gentle path to the end. Her mastery, the metaphor and the simplicity of the poems focus a unique light on the journey.”
~ Lee Firestone Dunne, author of Life in the Poorhouse and Cocktail Shaker