New Release by Manzanita Writers Press
You can order from the author directly if you know her or live in her area for quick delivery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maria-Elena Schembri wrote a wonderful article about Linda and her new book, with a schedule of readings and signings posted.
Raven Braids the Wind
Haiku: A Life in Syllables
A moving collection of haiku poetry that is at once a reflection on nature, a diary of days, and an exploration of life during the second year of the Covid pandemic.
Raven Braids the Wind started with a simple assignment in elementary school—write a haiku. That first haiku—Lonely people live/within themselves like dusty/books upon a shelf—is, a senryu (a haiku poem focused on personal reflection or comment about the self or world).
Thousands of haiku later, this poetic form has become a daily journey in which the author explores and translates the natural world and the inner world of introspection. Whether or not you write haiku, you will be able to appreciate their accessibility and simplicity and find yourself opening doors and windows to companionable thoughts and feelings.
What others have said about the book:
Linda Toren has graced readers with her haiku meditations on the world—both the natural world and the chaotic one that humans have wrought. Her poems take us on a seasonal journey through pine forests and chicken coops, through road-side sweet peas, on ravens’ wings, and through the dreams and puzzlement of modern life. Toren’s careful attention allows the reader a window into her love and compassion for these worlds, in all their flawed wonder. One haiku reads “How do I gather/ the threads of my life into/ some kind of order?” Lucky for us, in this collection, Linda Toren does just that, and the order revealed is deeply personal, poignant, and beautiful.
—Gillian Wegener, author of This Sweet Haphazard (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017)
Raven Braids the Wind by Linda Toren is a collection of haiku and senryu that is both lovely and thought-provoking. Toren’s haiku transport the reader into the garden, the busy barnyard, and the Sierra Nevada woodlands where birds, plants, animals, and weather impart wisdom and elicit questions that Toren transposes into concise and musical language. Her senryu distill the vicissitudes of emotion, recent sociopolitical perturbations, and pandemic upheaval, deftly portraying the human condition in clean, contemplative lines. The juxtaposition of these two poetic forms reflects the dichotomy of contentment and unease, the eternal and the ephemeral, in measured syllables that gracefully convey vivid imagery and lucid observations. Linda Toren’s Raven Braids the Wind is a treasure.
—Linda Scheller, author of Fierce Light
About the poet:
Linda Toren lives in the foothills of Calaveras County with her husband Theo, dogs, a cat, two pigs and many chickens. Linda is a retired teacher and director of Voices of Wisdom through Manzanita Writer’s Press (MWP). She has presented poetry workshops for children and adults—publishing schoolwide collections of poetry and art at local elementary schools for more than 15 years.
Her poetry appears in the following collections Manzanita: Poetry and Prose of the Mother Lode & Sierra (MWP 1995–2008), Wild Edges (MWP 2013) Wine, Cheese & Chocolate (MWP 2014), Voices of Wisdom (MWP 2018, 2019, 2022), Out of the Fire (MWP 2017), Teaching with Fire (Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach) by Sam M. Intrator & Megan Scribner, editors (2003), CollisionV: an Intersection of Poetry and Photography (2018).
Linda produces a community radio program at KQBM Blue Mountain radio which streams live at KQBM.org. Archived shows can be found at archive.org. Search for “Way with Words” Linda Toren. It’s a program dedicated to poetry, prose, nonfiction literary news, lyrics and the celebration of thoughts and language.
(FutureCycle Press 2017)