Hilary Sallick, poet & teacher
(Cover art by Lucy Sallick)
About Asking the Form
Hilary Sallick pulls the reader in close in Asking the Form. The poems unfold quietly, unerringly, through the accumulation of subtle observation and depth of insight.
Asking the Form's authentic questioning is only equaled by the skill and grace of its poetry.
Hilary Sallick's Asking the Form is a wise and beautiful exploration of the poet's perennial question-where to begin? …, as I read the poems again, I began to understand that these are also the revelation! These are the paths leading to the poem! This is the wonderful work that Sallick performs in Asking the Form.
About Winter Roses
These poems involve the reader through mystery and contradiction; outside appearance and inner pain; unspoken recognitions. Sallick’s poetry seeks to portray both “the hardness of truth” and “the softness of sky.” As she carefully observes and describes strangers, the reader in turn sees her, notes her empathy with others, curiosity about their lives, her honest admissions of struggle. Winter Roses thus becomes a collection of stories within a story.
The title suggests a still life, and indeed the reader finds the detailed observation of that genre here. But human figures are abundant; all, including the homeless, are given great dignity by the poet’s clarity and calmness. A line from “Woman in Public Library” expresses the effect of the book as a whole: “Something large is at stake.”
Sallick, like the artist in “Man at His Desk,” “looks beyond” until painter and painted begin to merge. With deliberate and careful language, Sallick draws us into the space of her subjects, asking us to take an empathic leap.