NC Literary Hall of Fame



Lira: Poems of a Woodland Woman by Mary Ricketson

Redhawk Publications
$15.00, paperback
September, 2021
Available from the publisher

"The Lira Poems, Mary Ricketson’s latest book, certainly speaks toward enchantment. The poems enrapture ethereally with the little natural creatures on the ground—the deer, the rabbit, squirrel, the turkey, and the dove—and the birds circling high over Lira’s garden, especially the red-tailed hawk. To see and imagine this 'ceremony of embrace' tunes one to Nature, to the fairies, the weather changes, even as we feel ourselves participate, without intrusion, in the routine beauty of the lines, the daily walks with doggies and each of these lovely creatures. The book triumphs in that very special way of seeing a there there, and, then, again, inside the heart. The news? How marvelous to be alive!"
—Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2015-2018

"In Lira, Ricketson steps into a world of magic; magic made possible by Nature. Lira, who early on wishes for everything 'pink,' meets her prince, and after the two kiss, 'pink roses still bloom.' But this collection is much more than a young girl’s typical dream. Instead, it’s a fairytale where Mother Nature is a Godmother, teaching Lira how to live through her interaction with trees, seedlings, deer, and fox—all who become her family. These family members help her 'weave a life of purpose,' where 'bites of misunderstanding resolve' by Rose Creek. Both hardship and beauty befall Lira, who, by virtue of keen eye and imagination, wins the respect of the Red Tailed Hawk. A must-read, full of sounds, imagery, and flat-out magic."
—Rosemary Royston, author of Second Sight and Splitting the Soil

"Take an enchanting journey in Mary Ricketson's latest poetry book, Lira. Magic tumbles over changing seasons at Cherry Cove Creek. Lira befriends trees, makes family with animals, rambles in wildflower rapture. Gnomes and fairies are her playmates. Butterflies and bluebirds dance and a red tailed hawk hovers. Ricketson is an award-winning wordsmith inspired by the healing power of nature. This book is a delightful read!"
—Brenda Kay Ledford, author of The Singing Convention

Mary Ricketson of Murphy has been writing poetry for more than 25 years. She is inspired by nature and her work as a mental health counselor. Her poetry has been published in Wild Goose Poetry Review, Future Cycle Press, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Red Fox Run, It’s All Relative, Old Mountain Press, Whispers, and her chapbook I Hear the River Call my Name, and a full-length collection of poetry, Hanging Dog Creek, published by Future Cycle Press.

Currently Mary is using her own poetry to present empowerment workshops, combining roles as writer and her helping role as a therapist. Mary Ricketson’s poems and activities relate with nature, facilitate talk about a personal path and focus on growth in ordinary and unusual times.

She is Cherokee County representative to North Carolina Writers' Network-West and president of Ridgeline Literary Alliance. She won first place in the 2011 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th anniversary national poetry contest. She writes a monthly column, Women to Women, for The Cherokee Scout. She is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor and an organic blueberry farmer.

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