Milepost 27

Milepost 27 showcases the poet's examination of the effects of climate change. From the bone altar of a Native American shaman who prays over disturbed land honoring deceased ancestors to the phantom forests of New Mexico where a ponderosa forest once thrived, Stablein has an eye for surreal environments, especially the drought-parched firescapes that have become increasingly common across the globe.

A number of Stablein's poems recall her post-Beat travels to Asia in the 60s where she studied art for six years. With a keen eye for detail, her poems evoke the rich cultural and spiritual life of people she met and places she lived, "from New York to Nepal; from Juarez to Varanasi; from Kathmandu to farflung rivers and seashores."

Her most poignant poems evoke her grief after the unexpected, accidental death of her son. From despair to acceptance, the arc of the book weaves up and down, in, out and around the familiar American obsession with the open road. Ultimately her lonesome journeys down the Jornado del Muerto adn the Route 66 caminos give way to acceptance, appreciation, and joy.

Marilyn Stablein

Marilyn Stablein is the author of 15 books. She won the New Mexico Book Award, the National Federation of Press Women Book Award, a Southwest Writers Award, and was a finalist for the Marie Alexander Prose Poetry Award. Her books include The Census Taker, Climate of Extremes: Landscape and Imagination, Splitting Hard Ground: Poems, and Sleeping in Caves. She was a book critic for The Seattle Times and a founding board member of Seattle Arts and Lectures. She received creative writing degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Houston. Her writing and illustrations are widely published in magazines, journals, books, and anthologies. Her limited-edition artist books are in private and publlic collections. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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