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Collections by Roger Housden
Roger Housden, a native of Bath, England, emigrated to the
United States in 1998. He is the author of several works of nonfiction,
including Ten Poems to Change Your Life, and also a recent novella,
Chasing Rumi: A Fable About Finding the Heart’s True Desire. He gives
occasional public recitals of ecstatic poetry from the world’s great literary
and spiritual traditions.
I picked up Housden's
Poems to Change your Life several years ago, mainly because I wanted to understand poetry better.
From the first poem, Mary Oliver's The Journey,I was bewitched.
"One day you finally knew what you had to do and began.."
I don't know if I understand poetry better, but I understand humanity better
for this lovely book. Housden has shared the impact a poet can wash over a reader's
He's added many new volumes to his collections and
occasionally deviated from his Ten Poem structure. His March 07 release will
address love’s many aspects. In
Dancing with Joy,
he assembles 99 poems from 69 poets that celebrate the many colors of joy.
Anything can be a catalyst for joy, these poems reveal. For Wislawa Szymborska,
the catalyst is a dream; for Robert Bly, being in the company of his
ten-year-old son; for Gerald Stern, it is a grapefruit at breakfast; for Billy
Collins, a cigarette. Dancing with Joy includes English and Italian classical
and romantic works; early Chinese and Persian verse; and poets from Chile,
France, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and India, plus a range of contemporary
American and English poets. Whether inspiration is what you need, or an
affirmation of what is already joyful in life, Dancing with Joy is a welcome
treat for Housden’s numerous fans, as well as anyone looking for sheer
happiness, marvelously expressed.
Some words about a few of his collections.
Be sure to read the interview and view the Roger Housden store below.
Mr. Housden is married to
Maria Housden, author of Hannah’s Gift. It's clear the spiritual journey that guides the
path of both of these writers comes from the human place of suffering and joy.
Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love...
This luminous anthology brings together great poets from around the world whose
work transcends culture and time. Their words reach past the outer divisions to
the universal currents of love and revelation that move and inspire us all.
These poems urge us to wake up and love. They also call on us to relinquish our
grip on ideas and opinions that confine us and, instead, to risk moving forward
into the life that is truly ours.
In his selection, Roger Housden has placed strong emphasis on contemporary
voices such as the American poet laureate Billy Collins and the Nobel
Prize–winners Czeslaw Milosz and Seamus Heaney, but the collection also includes
some timeless echoes of the past in the form of work by masters such as Goethe,
Wordsworth, and Emily Dickinson.
Ten Poems to Open Your Heart is a book devoted to love: to the intimacy of
personal love and lovemaking, to a loving compassion for others, and to the love
that embraces both this world and the next. This new volume from Roger Housden
features a few of the same poets as his extraordinarily moving Ten Poems to
Change Your Life, such as Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda, along with contributions
from Sharon Olds, Wislawa Szymborska, Czeslaw Milosz, Denise Levertov, and
others. Any one of the ten poems and, indeed, any one of Housden’s reflections
on them, can open, gladden, or pierce your heart.
As Housden says in his eloquent introduction, "Great poetry happens when the
mind is looking the other way and words fall from the sky to shape a moment that
would normally be untranslatable. . . .
Dancing with Joy Whether
inspiration is what you need, or an affirmation of what is already
joyful in life, Dancing with Joy is a welcome treat for Housden’s
numerous fans, as well as anyone looking for sheer happiness.
Ten Poems to Set You Free. Free of what? Of complicated explanations,
and other peoples’ stories ( Rumi); of caution and prudence ( Mary
Oliver): of sadness ( Unamuno); of failing luck and work gone wrong
( Cavafy); free of whatever it is that prevents you in this moment
from claiming the life that is truly yours. It is the truth that
sets you free, and these poems are
This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than
everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious
mind. It opens us to pain and joy and delight. It amazes, startles, pierces, and
transforms us. It can lead to communion and grace.
Through the voices of ten inspiring poets and his own reflections, the author of
Sacred America shows how poetry illuminates the eternal feelings and desires
that stir the human heart and soul. These poems explore such universal themes as
the awakening of wonder, the longing for love, the wisdom of dreams, and the
courage required to live an authentic life. In thoughtful commentary on each
work, Housden offers glimpses into his personal spiritual journey and invites
readers to contemplate the significance of the poet's message in their own
A Brief Interview With Roger Housden
An Interview With Roger Housden
Mr. Housden, has your spiritual journey changed the way you write?
The way I write
is part of my exploration and spiritual journey. It is an
archeological dig in language to give form to the inchoate movements
You've been described as a "lifelong student of the word." Do you
have any favorite words?
The funny thing is, that was a misprint. It
should have read " lifelong student of the world." One of my
favorite words is the French for magician - prestidigitator. Another
Do you have anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
Yes, keep reading!
Many thanks to Mr. Housden for
gracing our pages with this brief interview. I find certain words
are fun or favorites. I just like the way they sound. I was
thrilled that Mr. Housden had some favorite words too! Do explore
his books--You'll never be quite the same.--Amy Jenkins