Advance praise for STUTTERS
Mary Ricketson’s new book of poems—Stutters—is accurate as a chickadee’s chirp or an arrow’s sting. The poet creates a legacy varied as the soil’s grains scattering from opening fingers.
—Shelby Stephenson was poet laureate of North Carolina from 2015-2018. His recent books are Country, Praises and Cow Mire Songs.
Mary Ricketson invokes the inner courage of a personal difference seeking to come to light.Her poetry warms our hearts with its raw passion and fear, its joys and sorrows. As told over the course of her lifetime, she shares her stories within the voice of a stutterer, bringing us into her realm. Mary shines a light on what it’s like to want to speak but often having to change her pattern or her words or even avoiding speaking at all, for fear of what might or might not emerge from her lips and throat.Mary’s humility shines through in this book of poetry, as does her bravery, charm, and wit.
As a speech language pathologist with over 26 years of clinical practice, I can attest to Mary Ricketson’s hard-earned fluency today.As a colleague working with Mary with a local non-profit, I can attest to her dedication to women and to voices often not heard. Hearing Mary speak and recite her poetry is a time-stand-still kind of experience. Her canter draws you in, and though there is an occasional stutter or repetition, she has a bravery that elevates her through the moment and onto further words and prose.This is a most unique book of poetry. When I read her words on these pages, I feel she is here speaking them aloud to me in her own beautiful, passionate, and fluent, as well as disfluent, way.
—Emory E Prescott, PhD, MS,CCC-SLP, author of The Herbal Brain
Mary Ricketson's book, Stutters, A Book of Hope, takes the reader through Ricketson's journey of fear and frustration. Every word is a struggle. In school, "Children tease, mock, mimic...copy my dreaded stutter." Ricketson suffers shame "tension grows like weeds." This book pulls at your heart's strings. It's honest and fascinating. Her voice finally responds to practicing rhythm and she finds peace in the healing power of nature. Ricketson's courage and strength shine through the pages. This book is informative and an amazing story of a woman who overcomes the storms of life. Ricketson writes with candor about her son who also stutters. Families struggling in the shadows of stuttering will find hope in this collection of poems.
—Brenda Kay Ledford, MA; Retired Educator; Author of: Blanche, Poems of a Blue Ridge Woman and Leatherwood Falls, Blue Ridge Mountain Poems
In Mary Ricketson's latest poetry book she shares with us a look at her personal life. At the age of seven Mary began stuttering as she tried to speak. She allows us to see the pain and embarrassment it caused her. Yet, despite this obstacle, she was determined to push past it and achieve her goals. Mary completed college, became a counselor and a poet. She has excelled in both places, thus helping and inspiring many people. This is a special read.
Mary Ricketson’s published collections are I Hear the River Call My Name, Hanging Dog Creek, Shade and Shelter, Mississippi: The Story of Luke and Marian, Keeping in Place, and Lira, Poems of a Woodland Woman, and Precious the Mule.She won first place in the 2011 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th anniversary national poetry contest. Mary’s poems reflect the healing powers of nature, path she follows from Appalachian tradition, surrounding mountains as midwife for her words.She is a mental health therapist in private practice in Murphy NC and likes her writing groups, hiking mountain trails, and her garden of vegetables, flowers, and blueberries.
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