Sat, Sep 23|
The Thinking Spot
When Our World Was Whole - Poetry Reading with Elizabeth Weir
Elizabeth will read from her poetry book - When our World Was Whole.
Time & Location
Sep 23, 4:00 PM
The Thinking Spot, 3311 County Rd 101 #4, Wayzata, MN 55391, USA
About the event
Local Author Elizabeth Weir will read from her poetry book - When Our World Was Whole - a collection of 65 accessible poems written from life's experiences, including an English childhood, immigration, and belonging, patriarchy, and our fragile natural world.
From England to Minnesota and beyond...Elizabeth Weir's poems invite us into a space that is familiar.
Elizabeth Weir (Liz) grew up and trained as a nurse in England and worked as an RN in South Africa before coming to live in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. While raising the boys, she dipped into weekly news reporting, travel writing, and arts reviewing. Coming from another country, she felt a need to root more firmly in her community and served the City of Medina for 17 years as a Planning Commissioner, City Council Member and, finally, as Mayor of Medina, retiring at the end of her term in 2014. In high school in England, Liz loved the wonder she found in the poetry of Stephen Spender, Percy Bysshe Shelly, and Louis McNiece, but the rush of adult life swept in. She is grateful to Professor Chet Corey of Normandale College and Metropolitan State University professors Lawrence Moe and Piers and Kathy Lewis, who reawakened her joy in the pleasure of good words.
For Weir, the best poems are windows, where the mind is conscious of the pane but sees a world beyond.
The geography of Elizabeth Weir’s second collection, When the World Was Whole, ranges from a Starbucks to the Island of Hydra and from a window overlooking woods to Namibia’s Namaqua daisies. A master of the line and mot juste, Weir describes displays of possession—man over woman, hawk over snake, silence over woods. Never far from Weir’s heart are concerns for the “the keepers of the wild.” In “I Cherish All of You,” Weir sees a child as a plagiarism of previous generations. I loved, too, her poems’ fragile interiors: “…to the vase of weary tulips/ in his room of sighs, to his breath/ that labors, let nighttime fall.”
—Sharon Chmielarz, poet, Speaking in Riddlesand other books
As the title suggests, wholeness—and a search for wholeness—informs Elizabeth Weir’s perceptive poetry. Her explorations open with the well of childhood in a time of scarcity: meals of mashed parsnips and a sense of “the weight of limited possibility”— worries offset by the comforts of home. Weir resists limits, as she starts a career, emigrates, travels and responds to the pressures of the pandemic and George Floyd’s murder. Throughout, Weir stays attuned to the most enduring source of wholeness, the sustaining mystery of the natural world: “so much we miss, so little we know.” When Our World Was Whole is a wise, thoughtfully orchestrated book, alert to both the local and the large.
—James Silas Rogers, poet, The Collector of Shadows
Her books will be available for signing and purchase at the event.