A Communion of Saints
The oldest of five children born to a Navy father and Italian Baroque Opera Drama Queen mother, Meg Withers grew up in a small northern California town full of Italian relatives and friends. She has traveled a lot, living in England and all over the continental U.S.A. She lived in Hawai?i for nine years, tending bar at Hamburger Mary’s, where many gay men she knew were dying of AIDS. She earned her MFA from San Francisco State and currently teaches at Gavilian Community College in Gilroy, California.
A Communion of Saints
by Meg Withers • 2008 • $14
Designed by Chae Ho Lee
from A Communion of Saints:
. . .as our girl straddled grief
cold gulf between icon-pure desire of flesh…aware intrinsic
arid symbol status…she was all juggle dance soft flesh…
created to dwell amongst some other flesh…her softness
wore her down…nesh dying in bottles/pills/spoons…with
those other ones forsaken…those who schlpeed her crystal
earrings/rhinestone pumps…but from whom there was no
fondle/kiss nor even touch…of her…
…for i also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore
suffered i thee not to touch her…
Toni Mirosevich on A Communion of Saints: “Open the door wide on Meg Withers’ A Communion of Saints, then take the next step, enter the bar. Sit down with the band of outsiders who band together to form a family of insiders. In these beautifully sung poems, the gang, in full voice, offers up their anthem; “We’re in with the out crowd. We go where the out crowd goes. When you’re in with the out crowd, you know what the out crowd knows.” In the center you’ll find ourgirl, pearl of a girl, who joins in, becomes friend, loved one, trusted witness of all those who travel from “life to death to life,” the whole way. Open the door to Meg Withers expansive, inclusive, deeply moving collection and open the door on a poetic heart as compassionate, fierce, loving and true as all get out.”
Truong Tran on A Communion of Saints: “There are rare times when poetics and politics collide to create a lasting mark. Like Ginsberg’s Howl, Meg Withers’ A Communion Of Saints documents time and place, only this time informed by the anguish of loss in the wake of the AIDS epidemic…”and in those days to say the word aloud was death in one to seven years…we did not say the word except in whispers late at night…when fallen angels could not hear us.” This is an important, difficult book.”
A Communion of Saints is used as required reading at San Francisco State University.
Read a review of A Communion of Saints on Goodread.
Read LJ Moore’s review of A Communion of Saints in Jacket.
Watch a video of Meg Withers reading from A Communion of Saints at the Sacramento Poetry Center.