Sun and Shadows, Wood and Stone, an anthology of 61 poems by local and regional writers, is timed to mark the decade of the annual Solstice Readings. (Photo submitted)

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“If you open the door
you fall a long way into the awesome.”
— Audrey Hackett, Here

The sun is shining and the birds are singing. Above the head and under the feet, life is raging. No wonder April is the month of national poetry.

To celebrate this event and the countless poetic moments that have come before, the Glen Helen Association and the Tecumseh Land Trust recently released Sun and Shadow, Wood and Stone, an anthology of poems by 61 local and regional artists who read at the annual Solstice Poetry Reading last year. decade.

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The anthology was edited by local residents and poets Anne Randolph, former board member of the Tecumseh Land Trust; Ed Davis, who has hosted Solstice Poetry Readings for 10 years; and Matthew Birdsall, who took over the reins at Reading from Davies in December 2022.

“It all happened so organically,” Davis said of publishing the anthology. “And now we need poetry more than ever. It gets to the core of who we really are and tells us who to be. He’s focused on what really matters.”

Davis said he and his team of editors have their work cut out for them. In addition to working through the organizational hurdles of the pandemic, the group was tasked with culling several dozen poems submitted by Solstice readers to appear in the anthology. The result of their work: a 94-page collection of poems, mostly devoted to the natural beauty of the Yellow Springs and arranged according to the seasons.

“But these are not all poems about nature,” Davies assured future readers. “When we evaluated the applications, we chose the best poem — regardless of its topic. We made our choices based on clarity, specific language, and overall sensory experience.”

The main quality of the anthology, Davis said, is its diversity in both subject matter and authorship. With about 22 poets hailing from Yellow Springs during the solstice performance, there are also poets from across Ohio — creating what Davis called “geographical diversity.” In addition, all 61 poets featured in the collection are diverse in age, race and gender, Davis said.

“It’s a diverse group,” Davis said proudly. “We also have some of the area’s most established poets appearing alongside young poets who may be in print for the first time.”

To illustrate his point, Davis mentioned Herbert Woodward Martin — a Dayton native who is known for both his original writing and renditions of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poems — and Yellow Springs High School 2021 graduate Arielle Johnson. Their poems in “Sun and shadow, tree and stone” are placed on only a few pages.

“It’s a beautiful matchup,” Davis said.

The anthology also features local poets Morielle Rothman-Zecher, who wrote Before All the World — which was named a 2022 NPR Book of the Year — and Sadness Is a White Bird — which was a Dayton Literary finalist. Peace Prize; Bill Felker, author of the Yellow Springs Almanac, which appears on page four of every issue of the News; Audrey Hackett, former News writer and reporter; Gabrielle Civil, former assistant professor of performance at Antioch College; Robert Paschel, who can be seen selling his pun shirts in downtown Spruce Springs on any sunny weekend; and many other poets that may be familiar to local residents.

The almanac’s cover — a watercolor of tall pine trees in Glen Helen’s pine forest, dappled with both cool and warm tones, hinting at the changing seasons — was done by local artist Libby Rudolph.

“This whole thing, this whole thing, was a group effort,” Davis said.

Sun and Shadows, Wood and Stone can be purchased at Epic Bookshop, Glen Helen Gift Shop in the Vernet Building and online at for $20. All proceeds, Davis said, will benefit the Tecumseh Land Trust and Glen Helen, which hosts the annual solstice poetry reading each December. For more information about the anthology or the annual poetry event, contact Tecumseh Land Trust Executive Director Michele Burns at or by calling 937-767-9490.

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