Penned Up: Writing Out the Pandemic is a product of the shared work of the Applegate Poets: Lisa E Baldwin, Diana Coogle, Beate Foit, Seth Kaplan, H. Ní Aódagaín, Joan Peterson, and Christin Lore Weber. Some poems in this book are intensely personal. Some are spiritual, some humorous, some political, some thought-provoking or challenging. The poems are varied, as are the backgrounds of the poets, but we all have a love of poetry and a love of our home in the beautiful Applegate region of Southern Oregon. All of the poems come from an interior depth, the spiritual, psychological, and creative footing each of us found during the pandemic by penning poetry and sharing it with each other.
Lisa E Baldwin’s second poetry collection, Jerome Prairie Creation Myths and other Farm Tales, comes from her experience as a lifelong rural Oregonian, and her love for the Lower Applegate Valley where she has lived since 1966. The poems here celebrate a deep love of the natural world–poems about trees, birds, rivers, skies, wind, seasons, Earth; and there are poems that grieve for the losses inflicted on our natural world by the climate crisis and on-going human exploitation of the planet. Some of the poems started as stories she told her young son, others are drawn from stories she was told as a child. All are connected and held together as a collection by a keen respect for our home planet.