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This Many Miles from Desire, Poems by Lee Herrick

The haunting music of Lee Herrick’s This Many Miles from Desire reflect the quest of the poet, an adoptee, to understand his place in the world: “one more child found in the world’s history/of found children.” Spiritually yearning, imagistically sharp, and lyrical, Herrick’s poems are a journey of reward.

Sample Poems by Lee Herrick

“Lived poetry of the living world, where the ocean is Buddha and grandmothers surface between what is and what might be. Lee is a poet of exceptional control and breathtaking grace, who is unafraid to go for the leaps of word and heart. This new poet will keep poetry alive. I’ve been waiting for this book.”—Lorna Dee Cervantes

“Lee Herrick’s debut collection, This Many Miles from Desire, makes you stop and think about everything you’ve assumed before. As a Korean adoptee, Herrick stretches, deepens, and illuminates our previous notions of mother (both maternal and national identity), father, God, lover. The poems which emanate from the poet’s Fresno home to journeys to Seoul, China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, radiate a lovely sensuality grounded in an earthy, humbling wisdom. In the book’s closing lines, Herrick talks about the sacred—as in ‘the moment when she touched / your bare arm for the first time, her fingers / like cool flashes of heaven.’”—Amy Uyematsu, author of Stone Bow Prayer

“Lee’s poems bend towards light, towards a higher grace beyond words. Here is a collection of wise, heartfelt, honest poems that feel like songs, sad songs you play alone at midnight to remind your soul to live. Yes. Live. It will be one of my new travel bibles to take on the road, to comfort me when I get weary, to remind me that what we are doing is priceless and soulful and necessary as prayer. Bless you, Lee, for this beautiful music.”—Ishle Yi Park, author of The Temperature of This Water

“Lee Herrick’s poems celebrate the ability to make a life in the awkward space between worlds, where we find ourselves ‘not quite the rose/but not quite the roots.’ In settings as diverse as Korea, Latin America and Fresno, California, the poems speak of the emotional experience of being adopted, of one man’s search for identity, of the problem of abandonment—but most of all, they speak of the constancy of love. There is no blame or bitterness here at all. These are songs of grace and acceptance and joy, and they invite us to open our arms and embrace the complexities of our own unstable worlds. This is a poet with enormous talent and a large and generous heart.”—Corrinne Clegg Hales

Lee Herrick was born in Seoul, South Korea and adopted at eleven months. His poems have appeared in the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, The Bloomsbury Review, Quercus Review, MiPOesias, and Many Mountains Moving, among others, and in anthologies such as Seeds from a Silent Tree: An Anthology of Korean Adoptees, Hurricane Blues: Poems About Katrina and Rita, and Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California’s Great Central Valley, 2nd edition. He is the founding editor of the literary magazine In the Grove and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a Professor of English at Fresno City College and lives in Fresno, California.

ISBN 978-1933456614, 88 pages

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Lee Herrick, Poet Laureate, California, 2022  click here for news release

Also by Lee Herrick:

Gardening Secrets of the Dead

Scar and Flower