Advance Praise: As for Life
“To every prospective reader of As for Life, I would say, ‘Brace yourself. Do not avert your gaze. Here you will experience a revelation that will increase your understanding.’ Marilyn McVicker does not countenance equivocation in herself or others. This may be the most forthcoming volume of poetry I have ever read. Be prepared.”
—Fred Chappell, N.C. Poet Laureate, 1997-2002
“Even in illness, there is Life and love, Marilyn McVicker proclaims in As for Life, her memoir of poems introducing us to her Life with primary immune deficiency. McVicker opens us to the rage and grief, joy and beauty of a life confined to a remote mountain cove in Western North Carolina. I am strengthened, humbled, and inspired by her elegant and honest poems—a resilient life celebrated in poetry.” —Jennie Boyd Bull, Learning to Weave: A Woman-Loving Life, volunteer with My Neighbors, eldercare network.
“Marilyn McVicker takes us on a journey of the isolation experienced due to chronic illness. The use of poetic storytelling is relatable and brings the reader to experience how, after a full day of pushing one’s self through the necessary tasks, and when evening comes, the body relaxes, and all the pain comes at the time when rest is expected…The author takes the reader on a journey of chronic illness and how it defines the challenges of the simplest tasks that are often never considered as we move through the normal activities of each day. Poetically orchestrated, the complications of wanting to be normal and the body saying otherwise strands through each poem….” –Patricia Mayorga, Judge, North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2020 Lena Shull Book Award, Editor-in-Chief, Poets’ Espresso Review.
“The varied cadences and stunning word choices in As for Life lead the reader to understand the myriad daily tasks and fluctuating emotions that come with a rare, chronic illness. McVicker asks us to, ‘Consider this body. So much for so long. Not enough, for too long./ So much pain and loss. Joys and hopes filled and dashed./Life and death, handled simultaneously.’ Living a life of isolation, she gazes out her many windows to find comfort and hope in nature and thinks of ‘the small joys’ that sustain her.”—Kathy Weisfeld, Chair, Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, Poet
“As for Life is a catharsis of raw emotion, a reflection of one person’s life and loss while enduring chronic illness. Very enlightening! A must-read for health care professionals and medical/nursing students interested in the provision of patient-centered care.” —Laura H. Young, MSN, DNP, AGNP-C Compassionate Care of WNC, Palliative Care
“Reading Marilyn McVicker’s poetry has touched me in many ways. She teaches us how to live Life as authentic, fully-alive, compassionate human beings. As a musician and poet, her book As for Life is a composition of her chronic illness written in four movements in which she writes the score of her pain and her love of Life. Her poems may seem harsh in their honesty, but they are not without mercy; rather, they’re shared experiences and insights that not only help us to be better friends, family, and physicians to those with chronic illness but may save us when we are someday faced with our agonies...I am humbled by the lessons I found in Marilyn’s poetry.”—Jade Pierce, B.S., M.Ac.Licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of Traditional Asian Medicine
About the Author
Marilyn McVicker had her first poem published in 1980. Her poetry has been most recently published in Kakalak, Kaleidoscope, The Healing Muse, Earth’s Daughters, Front Porch Review, Red Clay Review, Speckled Trout Review, Wordgathering, Breath & Shadow, and Red Headed Stepchild. Her non-fiction book, Sauna Detoxification Therapy, was published by McFarland & Co. in 1997, and her poetry chapbook, Some Shimmer of You, by Finishing Line Press, in 2014. In 2020, she received an Honorable Mention for her full-length poetry manuscript, As for Life, through North Carolina Poetry Society’s Lena M. Shull Book Contest. She has read her poetry at numerous festivals, bookstores, colleges, libraries, and other venues. Marilyn’s fascination with words and self-expression stems from her previous career as a solo flutist and music educator. She retired to a remote cove in the rural mountains of western North Carolina in 1997.
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