Friday, October 1, 2010

A new book of poetry to celebrate marriage, fight cancer

Many of you have already heard something about my new book of poetry, but in case you haven't here's what you can expect from, The Urn, which has at its heart a very serious topic:


We hate to think about it, but most of us have to because we know someone who’s struggling with it, maybe someone we love, or we’ve been the ones to suffer—and have been fortunate to survive. Or we’ve already lost someone dear. Or perhaps it’s been another life-threatening disease whose specter lurks. Parkinson’s disease. Lou Gehrig’s. MS….

As some of you know, my beloved husband Roger Weir has prostate cancer…now in Stage IV, the final stage. There’s no curing it at this point, but, thankfully, his current treatment regimen is holding the monster at bay for a while longer.

As his wife, I’ve stood by his side, struggling with him, always celebrating our marriage as I’ve pondered the future of a life without him. And, as a poet, I’ve explored the idea of widowhood in words. My poems have taught me this: The most powerful cancer-fighting drug known to humankind is: Love.

Those poems have now become my new chapbook, The Urn from Finishing Line Press (FLP). It’s a book both somber and joyous. It’s my gift to Roger – my “pre-elegy” poems as friend and fellow poet William Heyen calls them – a memoriam to Roger that he can cherish before his ashes return to the Earth.

And I hope it’s a book you’ll want to read, even if you don’t know Roger (or me!). Maybe even share with those loved ones whom you treasure and are struggling and surviving, or grieving—or celebrating each day that’s given us.

If so, please order a copy now.

I’ll be frank: Orders placed now will determine how many copies FLP prints—of if they print the book at all. (I need to help FLP sell a minimum 50 books from now through the pre-sale period ending Nov. 18; such are the vicissitudes of small-press publishing these days.)

Here’s how to order your copy/copies of The Urn:

Go to this FLP direct link Scroll down the alphabetical list to The Urn by Karla Linn Merrifield. Click the “Buy Now” button and invest $15 in this celebration—and triumph—of love over cancer. (That’s $14, plus $1 shipping; after Nov. 18, shipping costs will increase.) The book will be delivered to your mailbox shortly after Jan. 15, 2011.

Or go to and click on the “New Releases and Forthcoming Title” link. This will take you directly to the page as well.

Or, use the handy order form below. And I've also included below a sample poem from the book. It isn't as dark as you might think!

If you haven't ordered a copy yet, I hope you will.

And I thank you in advance for supporting us. I promise you a fulfilling read. Roger, too, as humble as he is, will be grateful as well.


The Calling

The dapper clan of backyard avians
comes calling to celebrate
with me your cancer’s remission.

Chickadee, titmouse, junco, downy—
quartet in a spectrum of grays-to-black—
feather the sun this mild November morning.

Capped and cloaked, turned out
as if in petite tuxedos, they chirp
in unison my relief.

For the first time in many ruffled months
I am able to watch their lightness
in light of being with pizzicato heartbeats.

You, my rara avis nonpareil, are reprieved;
and in this autumn of your life are whistling again
on jaunty wings to my feeder.


The Urn
, a chapbook by Karla Linn Merrifield, will be published by Finishing Line Press Jan. 2011. This is a limited-edition collection, and pre-publication sales will determine the press run, so please reserve your copy now. To order, mail this completed form, along with payment, to Finishing Line Press at P.O. Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40324. Or visit and click on “New Releases.”

Please send me ______ copy/copies of The Urn by Karla Linn Merrifield, at $14 each, plus $1 shipping per copy.

Name ____________________________________________________________________

Address ______________________________ City, State, Zip Code _____________________

____ Enclosed is my check, payable to Finishing Line Press, for $__________.
____ Please charge my credit card $ __________. ____Visa ____Mastercard
Name as if appears on the card _____________________________________________________

Credit card number __________________Expiration date __________

Card verification number (3-digit number on back of card, far right) _____


And if you have a couple more minutes to spare, check out my newest poems to hit the Web in online journals:

The best of autumn to you all.

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