THE LONG RIDE HOME
After the loss of her mother, Harley can barely handle her grief. But the start of summer marks new beginnings, and Harley leaves for a cross-country road trip to scatter her mother's ashes with Dean, her friend (with benefits). The two ride by motorcycle, reconnecting with people who knew her mother along the way.
But it's not long before Harley realizes she's pregnant...with Dean's child. And as Harley learns that her mother faced similar choices during her own pregnancy, Harley must come to terms with her mother's past to make a difficult decision about her own future.
BEAUTY OF THE BROKEN
In this lyrical, heartwrenching story about a forbidden first love, a teen seeks the courage to care for another girl despite her small town’s bigotry and her father’s violent threats.
Growing up in conservative small-town New Mexico, fifteen-year-old Mara was never given the choice to be different. Her parents—an abusive, close-minded father and a detached alcoholic mother—raised Mara to be like all the other girls in Barnaby: God-fearing, churchgoing, and straight. Mara wants nothing to do with any of it. She feels most at home with her best friend and older brother, Iggy, but Iggy hasn’t been the same since their father beat him and put him in the hospital with a concussion.
As Mara’s mother feeds her denial with bourbon and Iggy struggles with his own demons, Mara finds an escape with her classmate Xylia. A San Francisco transplant, Xylia is everything Mara dreams of being: free-spirited, open, wild. The closer Mara and Xylia become, the more Mara feels for her—even though their growing relationship is very much forbidden in Barnaby. Just as Mara begins to live a life she’s only imagined, the girls’ secret is threatened with exposure and Mara’s world is thrown into chaos.
Mara knows she can't live without Xylia, but can she live with an entire town who believes she is an abomination worse than the gravest sin?
In these enraptured, playful, furious poems, the world of myth enters real life. An unhappy housewife is transformed by a wandering guitarist into Mary Magdalene; suburban Arizona serves as a battleground between Isis, Osiris, and Set; Persephone begs the sleeping Hades to abandon his sterile divinity and join her in the daylight, "hungry / humble / naked."
In Siren Song, you will also meet the poet herself. For Tawni Waters, speaking as the goddess is not simply a performance, not just a homage offered to ancient tales: it is a method for making sense of the real world, for re-casting her own experiences in the light of these icons. "Underneath the lies you have believed, you are already perfect. The nightmare is already ending. When the top-40-hits and laugh tracks and freeways grow silent, voices you are not yet equipped to hear sing endlessly of dawn."
Siren Song invites us to live the more imaginative and more self-forgiving life that, in our hearts, we already know is real.
SO SPEAK THE STARS
Writes Beth Kephart, "'So Speak the Stars 'is Tawni Waters as Tawni Waters-poems and prose poems illustrated by her daughter [Desiree Wade] about a love so raw and cell-shifting that it must be examined through every prism and an abundance of senses, through active hurt and devastating joy. Tawni--the real Tawni--is here with a book that blasts through norms. No protection of the heart in these pages. No pretending to exist comfortably somewhere above hurt, or below it. You want to know what it feels like to breathe when you're not pretending that simply being alive is not a glorious and ruinous miracle? Read So Speak the Stars."
A vision quest. Magical realism. Joy and spirit. Heaven and Earth, a dash of myth. A love narrative for the ages. In her fabulous and highly imaginative mixed-genre monument to what is true, necessary, and important, Waters sings a tender yet sassy and always beautiful aria to the Beloved. Her poetry weaves poetic experience out of the building blocks of existence and divinity, showing us who we are and how the world loves us despite our human challenges. Tawni Waters is a poetry medicine woman. Reading her poems will help you feel alive. Buy this book! --Elizabeth Powell, author of Willy Lowman's Reckless Daughter
winner of 2010 Solas Travel Writing Awards (anthologized in Best Travel Writing 2010)