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Rumor of Hope, by Laurel Mills
Rumor of Hope is the winner of the 2012 Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest.
This collection of poems is brave and poignant. Written from the perspective of a mother whose daughter has the the rare genetic condition 1p36 Deletion Syndrome, the poetic voice speaks to any nurturer, any parent, any caring soul. The reader is brought to the edge of metaphoric cliffs of chaos, love—and hope.
Laurel Mills was born in Wilton, Maine, and lives in Neenah, Wisconsin. She is the author of four award-winning poetry chapbooks, including Hidden Seed, which was published in Troika IV by Thorntree Press and won the Posner Poetry Award. Laurel is Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, where she taught English and edited the literary magazine Fox Cry Review.
Rumor of Hope has won the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets 2013 Chapbook Contest. “In this courageous, riveting, and sometimes remarkably honest collection, Mills finds a language for the almost unsayable.”
—Lisa Starr, former Poet Laureate of Rhode Island
“These poems do not sugar coat the realities of caring for a grown daughter with a rare genetic condition. They are filled with essential details about the loving relationship a mother and grown daughter share. This collection will draw any reader into the world of this exceptional family. You will not be able to put it down!”
—Connie Post, Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore, California; host of the Valona Deli Poetry Series; author of And When The Sun Drops (Finishing Line Press)
“What is it to be a child with special needs? And what is it to be her mother? In this prize-winning chapbook of powerful poems, Laurel Mills takes us through forty-some years of her daughter Beth’s life, from frightening seizures to anger outbursts that earn her time in locked wards, from prolonged childhood to halting words, from tricycle riding to carrying her own baby doll back to her imaginary husband, to group home living. Sometimes the sun forgets her, writes Mills, in these moving, sometimes humorous, sometimes terrifying poems; but her love for her daughter is as clear as her unflinching account of Beth’s difficulties and slow progress. Mills celebrates Beth’s delight in life on its own terms.”
—Robin Chapman, UW-Madison Professor Emerita of Communicative Disorders; author of Abundance (Cider Press) and the eelgrass meadow (Tebot Bach)