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Kathleen Willard undertakes the ultimate road trip—a one-month exploration and encounter of the entire subcontinent of India. Willard instantly and utterly fell in love with the people, culture, arts and literature of India and returned home forever changed. Each day, out of sorts, she encountered both the beauty and the poverty, the ecstatic and the solemn and her poems document her transformation and uncertainty.


“Departures and arrivals, the endless parade of bodies seeking landings, seeking flight, the “and and” of life and death, indiscriminate, making march, this is the unstinting brocade of Kathleen Willard’s This Incendiary Season. Structured dialectically, through near and far, home and away, a dying mother and a crush of Hindi strangers, Willard’s poems do not flinch at the threshold of human suffering. Indeed, they thrive, they travel, charting out how globally connected are the burning ghats of the Ganges to the front step bougainvillea. It’s generosity in the face of grief, poetry’s incendiary gift. “An oasis, a moment before,” the river turns, the crowd stirs, ‘my preposterous, my abyss—“


                              Matthew Cooperman

                                          Colorado State University

                                          Associate Professor of Poetry


“Kathleen Willard is captured by the untranslatable wonder that is India while her mother fights cancer an ocean away.  Her tribute to her mother conveys a whole range of experiences: the sight of chai-brewing sidewalk tea stalls, encountering the Taj Mahal, Jain temples in the deserts of Rajasthan, noting the anxiety caused by the onslaught of temple beggars and her efforts to resist the impulse of turning into stone, and noting the yellowing mansions, ghosts from colonial rule. In this sensitive and perceptive chapbook of poems, her words carry us over the ocean to India and back against her concern for her mother.”


                               Dr. James W. Boyd

                                            Colorado State University

                                            Emeritus Professor of Philosophy 


“Anyone who has ever hoped to outrun grief will find themselves in these lush, gorgeous poems.  They confront the sterility of modern death with the bright colors, wheeling birds, and jangling silver bracelets of India.   Not just a travelogue, but a voyage into loss and redemption.”


                               Dr. Elizabeth Cullen Dunn

                                             Indiana University

                                             Associate Professor of Geography

This Incendiary Season