Monday, March 17, 2014

Jill Peláez Baumgaertner*

Jill Peláez Baumgaertner is a Chicago poet, whose newest book What Cannot Be Fixed (2014) has just been published by Cascade Books as part of the Poiema Poetry Series. She has previously published three poetry chapbooks, and one full-length collection. In collaboration with composer Carl Schalk, she is librettist for two pieces (each a series of six motets) with sheet music published by Augsburg Fortress; Schalk has also recently composed an accompaniment to Baumgaertner's Advent meditation, "The Great O Antiphons", the text for which appears as part of What Cannot Be Fixed. A new revised edition of her study Flannery O'Connor: A Proper Scaring has appeared in 2013 through Wipf & Stock.

She is Professor of English and Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies at Wheaton College. The following poem is from her new collection, which I'm pleased to have edited for publication.


It can be too careful,
a ledge-balancing
tiny slide of the foot
over slick surfaces.

When it finally happens,
---------------------it should be more like a hurdle
----------------------------------------------------into sudden air

off a cliff

faced with
-----------ragged signs
of the earth’s upheaval,

or the rushed snatch of a demon
ferris wheel
that refuses to secure you
-----------with belt or rail
---------------------and seizes you
up in its mechanical hands
to whisk

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Jill Peláez Baumgaertner: first post, third post.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His new poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.