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Where the Meadowlark Sings
by Ellaraine Lockie

26 pages/24 poems
Publisher: Encircle Publications, winner of their 2014 Chapbook Contest
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-893035-23-2
Price: $12.95 plus $2 postage
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Winner of the Encircle Publications 2014 Chapbook Contest



Widely published author Ellaraine Lockie is known for narrative poems that capture the unique character of a place and its people. In her eleventh chapbook, she returns to her native Montana to honor the land that her parents and grandparents farmed. This prizewinning collection includes humorous character sketches, elegies for towns hollowed out by economic collapse, and love songs to the landscape that revives her spirit. In “After Montana”, a poem near the book’s end, she begins, “The guys in the California coffee shop/say I look like I’ve been with a new lover,” which prompts a tour de force of erotic descriptions of her communion with the prairie. . . . Lockie reveres but doesn’t sentimentalize her local history. In “Facing Family Tradition” she recalls her family’s racist slang for Brazil nuts, and suggests that although it was due to ignorance and inexperience rather than malice, it’s still a legacy she has to atone for. Several poems explore the isolation and hardship faced by prairie women, as well as their resourcefulness.
From Jendi Reiter, Winning Writers founder, on her blog:

Ellaraine Lockie's poems emerge from her Montana homeland... Lockie captures the elegance of the landscape in its "ripened wheat, cheatgrass and wildflowers," but steers clear of romanticism as she addresses the racism, sexism, and loss of young life in the rural West. In these poems, the history of one-room schoolhouses, vigilantes, cattle rustlers and depression-era thrift run close to the surface, only a few generations removed from the headlines and newscasts of a disconnected world.
From Tami Haaland, Montana State Poet Laureate

Visit the abandoned schoolhouse out on this vast Montana prairie, and you're in for an elemental-if not elementary-education in beauty and danger. When modern life wears thin, Ellaraine Lockie's roots run back to Indian times, and bring forth a wild profusion of prairie flowers.
From Dan Veach, Editor of Atlanta Review

Ellaraine Lockie's Where the Meadowlark Sings takes us on a journey to another place away from the urban sprawl, the spread of modern technology that works the world into a fever we call progress. She takes us to the life of nature and real people who would stomp the stuffing out of you if you cross them but give you their last bite if they thought you were hungry. We who live in crowded cities where freeways serve as parking lots will almost yearn.
From J. Glenn Evans, Founder, Director, and radio show host of PoetsWest


Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded author of poetry, nonfiction books and essays. She lives in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in a cabin on the Montana prairie where she grew up. Where the Meadowlark Sings is her first Montana collection and her eleventh published chapbook. Recent honors, in addition to winning the 2014 Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest, are the Women’s National Book Association’s Poetry Prize, Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England for Stroking David's Leg, the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest win for Red for the Funeral and The Aurorean's Chapbook Spring Pick for Wild as in Familiar. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She is currently judging the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contests for Winning Writers.


Abandoned Garden

Lying on the long side of time
a partially buried Meissen vase
Crackled like paper crunched in the fist of an accident
Its mouth growing sweet peas and pansies
A pioneer woman's attempt to civilize an untamed land
As though she were out gathering a bouquet
for a quilting bee in her homestead house
when some tragedy befell her

The house now as much a ghost as she
Yet she lingers in these immigrant flowers
that survive encroachment from native clover
blue flax, sage and morning glory
Butterflies that pollinate from one to the other
arbitrating the struggle
Like the diplomacy of a woman
caught between a hardcore German husband
and the America around them
Between their children and the razor strop
that hung on a toolshed door

She lives in the flames of poppies she planted
that have burned through a century
of hailed-out crops, drought and grasshoppers
Today the prairie breeze breathes the same scent
as her heirloom handkerchiefs
The sweet violet toilet water sacheted in drawers
and splashed on after a well water wash

She lives in the pressed purple yellow
pansies that look out from
a grandmother's diary and recipe books
Butterflies, as they take flight
in the draft of turning pages




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