Elizabeth Robin publishes ‘To My Dreamcatcher’
By Christen Kincaid
A dreamcatcher watermark. A year haunted by ghosts. Encounters with strangers. In To My Dreamcatcher, Elizabeth Robin finds spirituality inside a painting, the moon, a national park —places of reverence and mystery. Within such spaces, Robin tackles the challenge: as a woman alone, finishing life well. We travel with her as she riffs on nature’s changing skies, landscapes, trees, lovers. Resolve deepens as she navigates her past in the title poem, an elegy to her late husband. This journey reshapes perspective: she, like Andy Goldsworthy, leans into the wind.
Robin’s first full-length collection begins with a bird’s journey and winds through encounters with ghosts and dreamcatchers, trees and rushing falls. She moves from margins to the page’s middle, and finds a comfortable place in which to tell her story. The book is due out this June with early praise and awards. Tiana Clark connects Mary Ruefle’s, “moon, the very embodiment of lyric poetry” to a “lunar lyricism” reflected by Elizabeth Robin. Clark says, “The language is mystical, mythic, sublime, and romantic. The haunting imagery is fresh and allows for strangeness, devastation, and delight in a way that captures me as a reader. There’s a cohesive arc in her poems; these stunning poems all felt like ‘a rumbling love song’ and left me lit up and wanting more.”
As a poet of witness and discovery, Robin cannot resist raising up the stories of those pushed into the margins. To My Dreamcatcher starts in the world of workers, kittens, the isolated and starving, and travels from this bleakness into a place of resilience and possibility, a place where we learn the lessons of trees and clouds and moons and the sound of water.
Robin’s second chapbook, Where Green Meets Blue (2018) is an homage to her late husband and
new Lowcountry home. The first chapbook, Silk Purses and Lemonade (2017) is a story that finds hope inside a tangle of grief. Both are also at Finishing Line Press.
Robin retired to Hilton Head Island after a 33-year career as a high school teacher. In 2021 she won the Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship from the South Carolina Writers Association and the John Edward Johnson Prize from the Poetry Society of South Carolina. Robin emcees a monthly open mic and partners with arts groups to bring literary programs to Hilton Head Island. Work from her new book appeared first in Catfish Stew, the Poetry Society of South Carolina Yearbook 2021, Ripples, Drunk Monkeys, The Broadkill Review, i am not a silent poet, Blue Mountain Review, Local Life Magazine, and a broadside. See more at http:// www.elizabethrobin.com/
Elizabeth Robin will read from her new book and sign copies at the Pat Conroy Literary Center in downtown Beaufort on Friday, July 15 at 5 pm. For more information visit www.patconroyliterarycenter.org
Christen Kincaid is an editor at Finishing Line Press.
‘To My Dreamcatcher’ cover art by Mira Scott