THE POWER OF THE PAUSE: The Wonder of Our Here & Now
Editors: Heather Tosteson and Charles D. Brockett
85 ~ poems, essays & fiction ~ 20 B/W illustrations ~ 268 pages
Price: $24.00
Publisher: Wising Up Press
ISBN: 978-1-7376940-4-5
To Order:


The fifty-two talented writers in this anthology help us explore, through poetry, fiction, and essay, the hidden gifts of pause, voluntary and involuntary, how it may help us recalibrate, restore, find new and richer ways of being with ourselves and others. Sometimes it is better not to over-ride, overcome, forge on. This is a radical suggestion in a world that keeps going faster and faster, that measures value by the passing likes of others rather than that still inner voice. Sometimes pause is not a choice. It's forced upon us, whether we are ready or not. With the pandemic, all our lives slammed to a stop and were redirected in ways that were unexpected, often unwanted. Even so, sometimes the best step is just to listen in, not just to doubts but perhaps to something more resilient, constructive, slower, but stronger. Wiser. Something we may not have thought of—or experienced–yet.


About “pausing” Thomas Merton, the renowned Trappist monk, once said, "Contemplation is the practice of seeking clarity or a clear vision of who we are." Editors Heather Tosteson & Charles D. Brockett, have succeeded mightily in The Power of the Pause: The Wonder of the Here and Now. Whether you "pause" with poetry or prose, there is something for everyone in this stunning new project from Wising Up Press.
–Michael Escoubas, author of Monet in Poetry and Paint

As a Native American I hail from a long tradition of pausing to think about the meaning of things. My heritage insists on answering important questions: "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" "Where am I going?" "What is my relationship to the Great Spirit?" I especially appreciated lines from Russ Allison Loar’s poem “Quiet Moments”: "These quiet moments / When alone I become my truer self.” This anthology will touch the hearts of many. Congratulations to editors Tosteson and Brockett, for assembling a superb anthology.
–Sharmagne Leland-St. John, author of Images: A Collection of Ekphrastic Poetry


Heather Tosteson is the author of seven books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, most recently the novel The Philosophical Transactions of Maria van Leeuwenhoek, Antoni's Dochter (1668-1696) and a poetry collection Source Notes: Seventh Decade. Charles Brockett, a retired political science professor, has written two well-received books on Central America and numerous journal articles. Together they co-founded Universal Table and Wising Up Press and have co-edited nineteen Wising Up Anthologies. They also recently co-authored Sharing the Burden of Repair: Reentry After Mass Incarceration, the result of an extensive six-year Wising Up Listening Project.


The River
by Michael Hettich

I'm taking a pause from the person I've been
for most of my life, and starting to enter
the man I've been only occasionally, even
the man I've only pretended to be–
a stranger I've hardly imagined.

My wife has decided to do the same.
We've agreed to try out our new selves, and meet
back here in a few days, to talk things over,
perhaps make some permanent adjustments.

Our children might be strangers soon.
Our old dog already ignores us.

The river that runs by our house has been rising
for weeks now. We've been cleaning out our closets,
tossing things into the swirl:
old books we thought we should love, classics
that only bored us, as they've bored everyone
for centuries. Photo albums full of squinting strangers,
dress shoes that pinched, overstuffed pillows
that made our necks stiff. And then, one morning,

a herd of deer tried to swim across to our side.
So many hungry animals have been swept away.

Even our faces in the mirror seem
to have been swept away now, by that rising river
and by our yearning. I can only be naked,
though I'm trying to locate the clothes I wore
when I was a man who sported perfect teeth
and a full head of hair, the kind who tells the truth
when he lies–or vice-versa, I can't remember now,
though I'm sure it must matter to someone.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]