With the sprawling celebration of Walt Whitman and the meditative concentration of Mary Oliver, Accidental Joy is more than a poetic monologue-it is a personal epic. It is private prayer and public performance in one. Sitting down to read it feels like you're taking in a good bottle of wine: the flavors, highlights, and notes are diverse and complex, but they nonetheless create a unified flavor, a cohesive and balanced whole.
-Allyson Whipple, author of We're Smaller Than We Think We Are
Judith Austin Mills is a poet who wins poetry contests, some with very formal requirements, but this sequence opened to me her driving force for clear, beautiful expression in free verse. I found graceful lyricism, eloquent description, and searing social criticism, all of them in a stream of philosophical insight highlighted with snorts of humor. I will be buying copies of this book to give to my friends.
-Elzy Cogswell, former President of the Austin Poetry Society, award-winning poet
Each passionate stanza is entire to itself, but the whole poem, sustained for 101 stanzas, pours down with the power of a waterfall. You'll encounter humor, jazz, gratitude, fresh ideas and imagery. The poet acknowledges dismay at what is, inner and outer, yet in another stanza finds redemption.
-Mary Ellen Branan, author, Weavings, 2010 Blue Light Book Award, 2011 Peace Corps Award for Best Poetry Book
The poems in Accidental Joy are meditations that take us "as close to home as a human of any age ever gets." Invoking the power of memories, they invite us along "where light walks" into nature's wonders and the wondrous workings of the human heart.
-Ute Carson, author, Just a Few Feathers, Folding Washing, Colt Tailing and In Transit
Word windows. Mini-movies...images, fresh, evocative, parallel, equivalent. They sing to and for us. Worthy words, scenes, dreams. Read into them. WELCOME IN!
-Thom Woodruff, known as Thom-the-World Poet, poet and performing artist
Judith Austin Mills writes directly to the reader about the creative pursuit and its importance to the soul. Accidental Joy offers homage to nature, while it urges us to transcend regret and frustration. The verses are "psalms" that inspire.
-Julene T. Weaver, author, No Father Can Save Her and Case Walking