96 pages • 6” x 9”
Edited by Everett Hoagland
In this evocative, multicultural anthology, poets from the U.S., Latin American, the Caribbean and Cape Verde Islands mine the ocean’s depths to reveal universal feelings of the sea that we all share.
Ocean Voices is a collection of sea-inspired poems that use the ocean as symbol, muse or Sacred Source, giving voice to people, places and things associated with it. Shakespeare is of these voices, as are nineteenth century masters such as Melville, Whitman and Dickinson. But mostly these are twentieth century muses—Pablo Neruda, Askia Toure, Amiri Baraka, Mary Oliver, Robert Francis, Derek Walcott,
Lucille Clifton, Catherine McLaughlin and Alaskan-fisherman-poet, David Densmore. Poets from southeastern New England—Claudia Grace, Laurie Robertson-Lorant,
Susan Grace, John Landry and Everett Hoagland—lend their voices and reflections about the sea.
Ocean Voices is edited by Professor Emeritus Everett Hoagland of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Hoagland is a former Poet Laureateof New Bedford, Massachusetts (1994-1998) and the author of several books of poetry, including This City and Other Poems.
The anthology includes six sections with intertwining ocean themes—“Ocean Voices,” “By the Sea,” “On the Sea,” “In the Sea,” “From the Sea” and “The Sea of Love.” Each poet’s work was chosen to give the reader a variety of reflective voices—from Mary Oliver’s beautifully organic poems “Mussels” and “The Fish” to fisherman poet Derek Densmore, who writes about conflicting emotions toward fishing in his poem “For the Love of Fish.”
Rachel Carson wrote: “If there is poetry in my books about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.” We must teach reverence for Earth and Ocean. Our lives and the lives of untold numbers of other living organisms depend on our willingness to act as caretakers, not exploiters and polluters. We live on a beautiful endangered planet whose veins are the rivers, streams and creeks that flow into Mother ocean. Her heart beats with the whale’s heart, and her pulse is the pulse of myriad creatures swimming for their lives in their once bounteous Ocean…revealing “the miraculous in the commonplace’ is the gift of both poetry and science.
– Laurie Robertson-Lorant, author of Melville: A Biography
About the Author
Everett Hoagland is an emeritus professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He was the first poet laureate of New Bedford, Massachusetts (1994–1998). His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and several books, including ...Here...: New and Selected Poems (Leapfrog Press, 2002) and Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity, and Identity edited by Paula Cole Jones (Skinner House, 2011). He is a member of First Unitarian Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts.