Strange with Age

Strange with Age, by prize-winning poet Sharon Cumberland, explores the gains and losses of the ageing process through the prism of her 95-year-old father, as well as other, wide-ranging subjects concerned with the vagaries and challenges of living. Built around the sonnet cycle "My Father Has Grown Strange with Age," the poems reflect the poet's travels to Rome, Glasgow, Seattle, and San Francisco, and an array of nursing homes, fantasies, and dreams. Cumberland's poems are known for the clarity and accessibility of her voice. They can be understood and appreciated by adolescent and college readers, while mature readers will find a treasure trove of meaning in the clever use of imagery and metaphor. Cumberland is also known for her spirituality in the tradition of Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Denise Levertov. Her poems explore the mysteries of faith, both in contemporary and biblical settings, without being off-putting to secular readers. Her work is a magic mirror in which the reader can see the extraordinary through the mundanity of daily life. Sandra Cisneros calls Cumberland's poetry "truer than x-ray or photo." Kathleen Flenniken says the Strange with Age offers "truth, consolation, and a lovely sense of humor."

Sharon Cumberland Sharon Cumberland was born in Schenectady, New York. Her peregrinations through universities, jobs, psychotherapy, and an Episcopalian religious order led her to poetry. She has traveled in the United States and abroad, and lived for a time in Rome, Italy where she developed a love of art, architecture, and opera. In New York City she had careers in arts management and education. Currently she is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University.

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