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Hotel Domilocos, Poems by Ellen Waterston


A book by Ellen Waterston



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In the opening poem of this generous, richly detailed collection, guests at a tropical hotel push their tables together after dinner and “sit their stories side by side, until they blend into something better, the good eclipsing the bad.” So it is with Hotel Domilocos as a whole. This book plunges us, first into fecund, semi-tropical Central America, then into harsh, high-desert Eastern Oregon, each place with its struggles for livelihood, its efforts at community, its straining toward connection of women and men. Both places feel deeply known. Over the rest of the book, she takes us to other places and to various periods of her life. She looks at what’s right before her, what’s around her, and what’s brought her there. She looks, with great anxiety and with yearning for hope, to the welfare of Earth and the overall shape of her life. The intensity of her attention and the urgency of her desire to find or construct meaning are made palpable in the poems’ thickly textured sound and sharply focused images. Their characters and landscapes enlarge our experience and impress themselves on our memory. – Eleanor Berry, author of Green November and No Constant Hues. Past President, Oregon Poetry Association and National Federation of State Poetry Societies.