Poems by Wyatt TownleyWoodley Press Trees are quiet teachers. Their height relies on their depth. They show us how to hold on, and how to let go—and how to begin again, season after season, year after year.

This book of poems uses trees as a motif to explore the theme of transformation and features stunning black-and-white images by Michael Johnson, a master photographer likened by critics to Ansel Adams.

The Afterlives of Trees was introduced on NPR by Garrison Keillor, featured by US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser in his American Life in Poetry column, and completed with a Master Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Kansas Arts Commission.

Each copy signed by the authorEach copy signed by the author $15 • 92 pages • 6X9"
Published by Woodley Press • © 2011 Wyatt Townley
All photographs © 2011 Michael Johnson

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star A Kansas Notable Book
star Winner, The Nelson Poetry Book Award

Reviews | Comments

"Typically brilliant Townley....writing as ever with grace and what we might call metaphysical wit."

—Brian Daldorph, Coal City Review

"I fell into her circle of gravity and I wanted to stay there."

—Cheryl Unruh, The Emporia Gazette

"A deeply thoughtful, consummately crafted volume of poems and this year’s winner of The Nelson Poetry Book Award."

—William Sheldon, judge

"Trees are lovingly considered, observed, and noted, from roots to crown, by this splendid poet of the forest. Marvelous—spare and full at the same time."

—Andrei Codrescu, Exquisite Corpse

"Fine poems about the swift and relentless passage of time, one of the great themes of the world's poetry..."

—Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-2006, American Life in Poetry

"Townley's work reminds me of what poetry at its best can do for the reader: enchant, condense, amaze, reconfigure, and uplift….If you love poetry, read this book. If you want to dip your toe into poetry for the first time, read this book. If you seek spiritual depth and worship, read this book."

—Catherine Wald, Friends Journal

"In Wyatt Townley's The Afterlives of Trees, every poem is a novel and the book a library of human experience....penned by a master."

The Daily Star-Journal

"The power and scope of Wyatt Townley's The Afterlives of Trees shake you to your very bones. There's some audaciously formidable poetry in this book."

—John Weisman, New York Times #1 bestselling author

"The Afterlives of Trees brings together exquisite poetry of great tenderness, strength, and beauty, but it is also a book of revelation....a love song to the life force."

—Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poet laureate of kansas

"Go into the woods, which are these pages. These accomplished poems open a clearing through which to see the world afresh. Lucid, imaginative, present, they focus on small details and expand to encompass the universe...I wish I could have written these poems, perhaps especially the love poems—but then, they are all love poems."

—Laurel Blossom

"I so much admire these poems, the body imagery, the spare power, the world's grandeur and mystery breathing through these trees, yes!"

—Colette Inez

"This poetry (and the poet herself) is the real deal."

435 South magazine