At Goat Hollow and Other Poems
by Wilda Morris
57 Poems ~ 96 pages
Price: $23.00
Publisher: Kelsay Books
ISBN: 978-1-63980-338-5
To Order: Kelsay Books and


If you have (or had) a family member, not your father, who was completely original, who did odd things, bent the rules a little (or maybe a lot) who refused to fit into society’s mold … if this odd individual made your heart palpitate every time he invited you and your sister to his little home in the country … if this is your guy or gal … make haste to order a copy of Wilda Morris’ new book, At Goat Hollow and Other Poems. Within its pages you will meet Uncle Norman. Perhaps he will remind you of someone you know.


Wilda Morris’ poems in At Goat Hollow and other Poems are sentimental in the very best way, sharp-edged and clear. Morris shares all the reasons her Uncle Norman was beloved by children and looked down on by others in the family. In poem after poem, Morris braids memories of Goat Hollow together with the twin threads of family history and the specifics of place. One must admire the dedication to commit an entire volume of poetry to the life of one man, but Morris proves equal to the task. As she explains, “With words, I draw snapshots/the Brownie cameras didn’t catch.”
–Laura Hansen, author of Midnight River, winner of the Stevens Manuscript Competition; Déjà Vu; and The Night Journey: Stories and Poems.

Wilda Morris has portrayed the “salt of the earth” nature of her uncle, and of herself, too. I can imagine myself running through the countryside of mid-America following her and Uncle Norman. Yet I can smell and taste the India of my childhood. That makes this collection universal.
–Bakul Banerjee, author of Bathymetry: Poems, and Synchronicity: Poems


Wilda Morris has served as president of both the Illinois State Poetry Society and Poets & Patrons, a Chicago-based poetry organization for which she continues to serve as Workshop Chairperson. For three years, she chaired the Stevens Manuscript Competition for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She has led poetry workshops for children and for adults in several states. For several years she was on the staff of the Christian Writers’ Conference at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin.

Wilda’s first book of poetry, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant, was published by RWG Press in 2008. In 2019, Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books) published Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick, which garnered her an opportunity to do a reading at Arrowhead, the estate where Herman Melville wrote his masterpiece.

Wilda has published widely in journals, anthologies, websites, and newspapers, and has won rewards for formal poetry, free verse, and haiku, including the 2019 Founders’ Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge at provides a contest for other poets each month. For over 15 years, she has been the mc for poetry readings at Brewed Awakening in Westmont, Illinois, co-sponsored by the coffeeshop and the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Wilda is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and of the University of Illinois. She also has an M.Div.

She lives in Bolingbrook, Illinois, with her husband Ed. They have five children, fifteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.



by Wilda Morris

While his brothers
rose each Sunday, dressed
in suits, white shirts,
ties or clerical collars
constricting their necks,
and preached their sermons,
Uncle Norman pulled on
overalls, milked goats
he named like Adam, walked
aisles between string beans,
broke one like bread
and put it on his tongue.

He looked out at the dome
of sky, drank in sun like wine,
read epistles written
by swallows. He knelt
beside a milkweed, watched
a monarch–newly risen
from its cocoon–fold
and unfold its wings.

A choir of robins and bluebirds
chanted a gospel of forgiveness.
Uncle Norman whistled his own
doxology, gave thanks
for his small sanctuary.


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