Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

A Distributed Titles Book

Out of Nowhere
New and Selected Poems

By Mary Ann Taylor-Hall

“In this work, it’s Mary Ann’s natural, private, witty voice, talking to you as she talks to herself, not just frank but truthful, trying to get at the truth. Like most great books, this one is both serious and funny. Every last word in it is right.”

Susan Starr Richards, author of Great Naps

"The subject here is daily life and its uncommon richness. The starkly resonant moment discovered in these poems suddenly appears to be at one with common sense and practicality, grounded in the here and now. And yet the poems in this deep and enlarging book always defy that superficial description—because that is what this book is about, a sweet, abiding defiance. All things refuse to be merely what they seem at first notice; all things have an after life, an inner-life, a beyond-life. Beauty, at first, is no big deal, and is then accepted; spiritual and temporal transcendence are no large claims on this reality. And yet, love in its various forms comes along, to move the poet and the entire world around her from happiness through grief, and on to further love and further wisdom. This is a book of gorgeous poetry that reaches always beyond itself, and leaves one with the feeling that always reaching farther is what we are supposed to do. And so, along with great beauty and true art, in this book we also have an invitation.”

Maurice Manning, author of The Common Man

“I never get tired of being inside the mind of Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, never knowing what will turn up next in this poet’s keen and tender seeing of the world—creature or spirit, a kind of radiance suffusing everything. Each of these poems is so alive, so unexpected, so uncontrived, so beautiful and true in the rarest, most startling way. I could dwell here forever.”

Cecilia Woloch, author of Carpathia and Late

“Mary Ann Taylor-Hall is a lyrical cosmonaut, an explorer into the mystery of time, space and consciousness. Who are we and what is all this that comes out of nowhere? Beholding this mystery with sheer wonder, she zigzags between the out-there and the right-here. These poems form a breathtaking, exhilarating narrative, a journey through a particular life in the context of the infinite. She can touch base with the universe and then zoom in on a bird feather or a yellow leaf. We are jolted by her perceptions, surprised by what we hadn’t noticed, but she was up at dawn, noticing—noticing everything, in detail, and bringing the fresh news to us. Out of Nowhere is nothing less than genius.”

Bobbie Ann Mason, author of Clear Springs: A Memoir

The first comprehensive poetry collection by award-winning Kentucky writer and poet Mary Ann Taylor-Hall

Selected and arranged by the author, the poems in Out of Nowhere unfold as a luminous narrative of the poet’s life, moving through seasons of experience—from the first stirrings of childhood consciousness to present-day meditations on loss and grief—with candor, clarity, and startling tenderness. She opens to the reader the intimate landscape of her life in rural Kentucky, which she connects directly to the immensities and astonishing mysteries of the universe that come smashing through even our most ordinary days.

Published in 2017 by Old Cove Press

Mary Ann Taylor-Hall has published two novels: Come and Go, Molly Snow and At The Breakers, and a collection of stories, How She Knows What She Knows About Yo-Yos. Her short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Sewanee Review, and other literary quarterlies, and has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories. In the past ten years, she has returned to poetry and has published two letterpress limited editions, Dividing Ridge and Joy Dogs. She has been the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council.   More info →

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Retail price: $21.00, T.
Release date: November 2020
208 pages · 5¾ × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Release date: January 2021
208 pages
Rights:  World

Additional Praise for Out of Nowhere

“A stunning body of work. The poems are personal, heartbreaking, elegiac, yet uplifting through their honesty, revealing with brilliance and precision the endless beauty found in this world, ‘this world of solid, amazingly particular things.’ These poems will sustain us.”

Julia Johnson, author of Subsidence and The Falling Horse

“These are poems of redemption as simple, clear, and profound as the redbuds, dogs, storms, dreams, and love they describe. They open door after door to the vastness of which we are so intimately a part but hold ourselves so far from. Mary Ann Taylor-Hall’s attention to those interconnections reveals the simple and profound ethics of unconditional love.”

Chris Green, author of Everywhere West and The Sky Over Walgreen's

“In her remarkable poems, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall greets the world with humility and genuine openness of being. She finds grace in each lived moment and renders that moment in language that is profound and brilliant in its simplicity.”

Gurney Norman, author of Allegiance and Ancient Creek

“In this astonishing collection, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall explores our condition in poems both horrified and exultant, visions that speak back to the news, personal and geopolitical. Out of Nowhere come these psalms of a generous spirit and tough, far-reaching mind.”

George Ella Lyon, author of Many-Storied House

“Reading these poems is like looking up from the armchair to find a black-capped chickadee inches away, perched outside during winter on the rim of the window—a thing of wonder and abiding mystery, deeply affecting.”

Richard Taylor, author of Rare Bird: Sonnets on the Life of John James Audubon

“These are poems that catch the passing moment and remind us how intense the ordinary can be—if we could only see it.”

Erik Reece, author of Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness

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