Hilary Sallick

To purchase Love Is A Shore

Lily Poetry Review Books

Cover art: Lucy Sallick, Maine Winter Island, 1971, oil on canvas, 36” x 48

About Love Is A Shore

… The speaker in these poems is personal, but never self-involved, trusting her observations to take on shapes of their own. A feather, an oyster shell, a conversation with friends, a neighbor working on his patio: these beautifully rendered perceptions gather, build, and miraculously fall into place. My own perceptions sharpened, my mood lifted as I read Sallick’s work.  --Ruth Hoberman, Professor Emerita of English, Eastern Illinois University

… “I try to see without / intruding,” Sallick confides to us, then admits: “I want things and I go too close.” These lines could be the motto for this entire collection. Curious, heroically—even subversively—observant, Sallick watches, as she writes in another poem, from “the middle / of the space,” where “a whole / circumference of world / surrounds me.” That careful, unstoppable observation of the world and its inhabitants is her great gift as a poet—and her great gift to us.  Lloyd Schwartz, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and the author of Who’s on First? New and Selected Poems

Hilary Sallick’s pact with herself is to stay open to all varieties and permutations of experience. “Everything is emblem beauty/message   how can I read it,” she writes. Rather than grasping after meaning, she lets what she observes—a crow strolling across a yard, a ladder inside a half-finished house, a shifting shoreline at a familiar beach—speak to her, each in its own way. … --Jennifer Barber, author of The Sliding Boat Our Bodies Made

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.

-Jennifer Barber

Asking the Form's authentic questioning is only equaled by the skill and grace of its poetry.

-Susan Donnelly

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

-Regie Gibson

Cover art: Lucy Sallick, Shells and Cardboard, 1980, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 24”

To purchase Asking the Form

Cervena Barva Press

To purchase Winter Roses:

Finishing Line Press


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. 

-Susan Donnelly

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.”

-Pamela Alexander

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.

-Mary Buchinger