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Maida Vale Publishing

Thoughts From The Oak

Thoughts From The Oak

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By Audrey Colasanti



In Thoughts From The Oak, Audrey reflects on the challenges and unexpected joys in raising two children with serious health challenges. Although her story is unique in its details, Audrey’s poems are universal in their voice to trauma and gut-twisting desire to emerge from the muck. You will read this book in one sitting and close the last page with tears in your eyes; both from concord to Audrey’s stunning journey and optimism for the future of your own.

Shortlisted for the Sexton Prize for Poetry, Semi-finalist for the Walt Whitman Award, Audrey Colasanti is a mother, advocate for epilepsy awareness, and emerging poet. Her powerful debut is titled, Thoughts From The Oak. With deep love for her children, both born with serious health challenges, Colasanti reflects on the labyrinth of untypical parenthood. Through vivid imagery and lyrical prose, she writes about the sour-sweet smell of hospital rooms to wanting to shove pins into a voodoo doll.


Desire – green and yellow and blue – primary as mother and child – floods fiercely in this book, seeking the break in the stone (or the rib or the wall) where sunlight might break through. Like light, these poems seek to touch something so tenuous they must find ways to touch without touching. They must radiate. Thoughts From The Oak brings the reader into that kind of faith. A faith that spreads as viscous as syrup to the wound. - Chris Martin

Thoughts From The Oak is so honest, it hurts. All the way down to your heartwood. Colasanti shows us what mother love looks like when it’s more than hard. It’s the love you fall into the moment you hold your baby in your arms, and it doesn’t matter if he is blue or yellow or whisked away from you in an ambulance. It’s the storms you stand in the middle of, as solidly as the oak stands in the forest, because your heart would not let you leave even if you could. But sometimes, when your heart is a broken bone, you really wish you could. These poems bear everything. They are beautiful and aching. They show us the mother behind the mothering, and she is a soldier. A mother who is at once naïve and unrelenting, and then unbending. These poems will stay with you and return in the moments you need them most. - Ronda Redmond


Audrey Colasanti’s astounding poems plumb the depths of a mother’s love for two children who fight mortality from birth. Using color and nature to say what otherwise would be indescribable or stale, green moves beyond metaphor. The shape-shifting poems in which Colasanti inhabits an oak tree are so powerful that the word transmogrify came to mind. These heart-breaking poems will inhabit you. - Kita Shantiris

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