I like Emily Dickinson’s lines in her # 224 poem:
“...maybe, it would puzzle us
To find our way Home—”

The J Horoscope
Brighthorse Books, 2019

I can tell you one thing for sure: you haven't read a book of poems like this before. Not ever. If you think you can handle a rewriting of human history—not to speak of human spirituality—from the J point of view, then welcome to the universe according to J. Is it a Biblical retelling? Yes. Is it an utterly contemporary view of twenty-first-century human nature, godly nature, and nature itself? Yes. Serious? Yes. Funny? Oh, yes. And, by the way, God can be a whiner. Vengeful. In the book's last poem someone called "The Host" appears. He or she could be God, I suppose. But actually, the host, it seems to me, is Sharon Chmielarz and she ends her wild romp through history and religion like this:

It is said, and much hoped to be true,
the host overlooked not one soul. Amen.

And the book does feel this way: as if not one soul—and certainly not one reader—has been overlooked. Amen, indeed. And thank you, Sharon Chmielarz. —Jim Moore, Underground, New and Selected Poems

Read more about this book.

Listen and read: "Yahweh the Stork on The Family"

Purchase: from the publisher, Brighthorse Books, the author, independent bookstores, and Amazon.com

The J Horoscope
little eternities
Nodin Press, 2017

Lapidary, effortless, crystalline, and cocky, little eternities is a time machine. Step inside and find yourself on a journey with surprising turns and feints, words translating into wormholes, crossing centuries, tunneling through etymology, through music and art. — Marsha de la O, Antidote for Night

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IBPA Ben Franklin Prize Silver Winner

Listen and read: "Little Eternities"

Purchase: from the publisher, Nodin Press, through Itasca Books; the author; independent bookstores; Amazon.com
Little Eternities
The Widow's House
Brighthorse Books, 2015

The Widow’s House isn’t only for widows or widowers. Its poems are windows onto the drama of grief and loss, like watching a character in a play. (“Reader, grief comes to each of us; here is how it played out in the life of one person. How does it resemble your experience?”) In the book’s last section the grief evens out; those poems can be read simply for themselves though the shadow of loss accompanies them.

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Kirkus Review's Best Books of 2016

Listen and read: "Fisher's Club"

Purchase: via Amazon.com (publisher's distributor)
The Widow's House
Visibility: Ten Miles
Sharon Chmielarz, poet
Ken Smith, photographer
North Star Press of St. Cloud, 2015

In this collaboration of poetry and photography between Sharon Chmielarz, poet, and Ken Smith, photographer, their understanding of life on the prairie finds its way into our minds, hearts, and imaginations.

Read more about this book.

Listen and read: "Navigation by Metaphor"

Purchase: $16.95 plus shipping. Visit North Star Press to purchase this book.

Love from the Yellowstone Trail, 41 poems
North Star Press, 2013

Love from the Yellowstone Trail has three parts: poems about the Missouri River and water; some history of whites and Native Americans along the Trail, especially in South Dakota; and an inside view of life in the houses along the Trail. In the poem, “First a River, the Missouri’) she writes, “I’ve seen the river’s plain table and its gifts/ from the dead daughter, shells, birds,/ the white tail which makes its way/ through blonde grasses to drink at the shore.”

Listen and read: "The River's Arguments"

Purchase: $12.00 + shipping; contact North Star Press to purchase the book.
  Love the Yellowstone Trail
The Sky is Great, the Sky is Blue
Whistling Shade Press, 2010

Listen to an interview on KAXE radio about these two books.

You might call these poems short meditations on the daily but set in places as disparate as Poland, a Middle Eastern funeral, a Greek hunting myth, a California and New Zealand beach, a Cuban old folks home, as well as the Midwest.

Listen and read: "Table"

Listen and read: "So Many Kinds of Theatre"

Purchase: $10.00 plus shipping. Contact Whistling Shade Press to purchase this book.

  The Sky is Great, the Sky is Blue
Loonfeather Press, 2010

Read a review in The Corresponder

Calling was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. You can read poems in it about Madame Pompadour, the Sixth District Women’s Convention in SD during the 1920’s, Monet and his egg girl, Galileo and his two daughters, Mrs. Heinicke and Mr. Mendelssohn, and many, many other men and women relationships.  The title comes from “...those maddening little women who kept calling, calling to each other...”  Elizabeth Bishop, “Brazil, January 1, 1502” 

Listen and read: "Burning"

Listen and read: "Wonder Woman at Seventy"

Purchase:  $12.00 plus shipping; order from Loonfeather Press

The Rhubarb King
Loonfeather Press, 2006

In these poems Sharon makes peace with her father and his German from Russia background, tracing its historical roots.  “...His eyes, guarded, defying,/ run to blue as if his kingdom was not/ always as bountiful or beautiful as he wanted...”

Listen and read: "Weisspfennig House, Fredonia, North Dakota"

Purchase: $10.00 plus shipping. Loonfeather Press to purchase this book.
  The Rhubarb King
The Other Mozart
Ontario Review Press / W.W. Norton, 2001

Wolfgang Mozart’s older sister was arguably as talented as he but not given the same encouragement and instruction; indeed she was told by her father not to compose.  This biography in poetry covers Nannerl’s life from the time she is a Wunderkind to her death as Maria Anna Walpurga Ignatia née Mozart von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg.

Listen and read: "Pros & Cons: a Marriage of Convenience"

Purchase: $12.00 plus shipping. Contact Sharon Chmielarz to purchase this book.

  The Other Mozart
Stranger in Her House
chapbook, Poetry Harbor, 1995
But I Won't Go Out in a Boat
New Rivers Press, 1991

This title comes from an offhand remark Sharon’s mother made about her life on the prairie which can be seen as half land, half sea.  It may be her most autobiographical work: the poems reflect a bleak landscape and a house of broken hearts.

Listen and read: "But I Won't Go Out in a Boat"

Purchase: $6.00 plus shipping. Contact Sharon Chmielarz to purchase this book.
  But I Won't Go Out in a Boat
Different Arrangements
New Rivers Press, 1982

Though she didn’t know it at the time, Sharon’s first book lays out the main themes she’ll explore in later books: family, historical characters, nature, work, the daily life, and story vignettes. They are different life arrangements the writer can choose once removed from “her distress:” “...for her distress had allowed no arrangement.”  (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park) 

Listen and read: "In Conversation with Gertrude Stein"

Purchase: $3.00 plus shipping. Contact Sharon Chmielarz to purchase this book.

  Different Arrangements
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