The Majesty of Trees: Poets Respond Root, Trunk and Branch
Co-Editors: Jennifer Dotson and Mary Beth Bretzlauf
Format: 8 ½” x 0.19” x11” Perfect Bound Paperback
73 poems, 57 Full Color Artworks, 79 pages
Publisher: Highland Park Poetry
To Order: Amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
While the study of trees and forests has been a subject of ongoing interest among
scientists and environmentalists over the years, it is now enjoying a season of heightened
interest among a much broader constituency. This phenomenon is fascinating in and of
itself. However, if you simply “like” trees for what they are … living things that
propagate life and impart beauty to our world, you cannot live another day without
adding The Majesty of Trees: Poets Respond Root, Trunk and Branch to your library
shelf. This superb anthology will reward readers many times over with images and poems
that enrich the human spirit. Poets from the United States and beyond grace these pages
with a rich variety of styles and perspectives.
"Tree lovers got an early Christmas gift this year with the splendid book, The Majesty of
Trees: Poets & Artists Respond Root, Trunk, & Branch. Edited by distinguished poets
Jennifer Dotson and Mary Beth Bretzlauf, the 73 poems and 57 art pieces (photos,
drawings, and paintings—in color!) capture the timeless sanctity of trees throughout
civilization, beginning with the Garden of Eden, through the ancient Japanese and other
Eastern venerations of trees, through the solace and balms forests and gardens provide us
in horrific pandemic times. Here are brief glimpses in haiku, flowing reminiscences of
childhood adventures among limbs, poignant reflections on tree-tenders now lost, and
lyrical descriptions of seasons, colors, and the interminable beauty trees provide. Trees
personified as women, soldiers, sentries, lovers, children amaze and charm us, reinforcing
the majesty and immense presence these stalwart beings have in our everyday lives."
—Thelma T. Reyna, Poet Laureate Emerita is author of Dearest Papa: A Memoir
“Poets and artists from India to Oklahoma, Connecticut to the UK respond to the majesty
of trees in this evocative pairing of poems and mixed media artwork. Some of the trees
featured are universally revered, as with Redwoods in California and Bonsai in Japan.
Others are backyard trees uniquely appreciated by the lucky few who ambled up their
boughs and took refuge in their shade. In language and images, trees are rendered as they
shiver, shimmer, sashay, sing sigh, and swallow sunlight. We see them as sentinels of
security, nature’s umbrella, and as a quiet chapel of green curtains, a cathedral of leaves.
Ultimately, it’s the trees themselves that speak to readers.”
—Arlyn Miller is Senior Editor of Poetic License Press and Founding Editor, of
Poetic License, Inc.
Whether your preferred artistic medium is poetry or painting or photography, your
longings for any or all three will be satisfied in full measure when you purchase your
copy of The Majesty of Trees. The volume, co-edited by Jennifer Dotson and Mary Beth
Bretzlauf is a triumph of quality poetry and exquisite full color images. I enjoy relaxing
with coffee, my favorite pastry and simply thumbing through its pages lingering at what
—Michael Escoubas is the author of Steve Henderson in Poetry and Paint.
ABOUT THE CO-EDITORS:
Jennifer Dotson is Founder and Facilitator of Highland Park Poetry. Her debut poetry
collection, Clever Gretel, received the Journal of Modern Poetry First Book Award and
was published by Chicago Poetry Press in 2013. Her second collection Late Night Talk
Show Fantasy & Other Poems was published by Kelsay Books in 2020. Her poems have
appeared in After Hours, Caravel Literary Arts Journal, DuPage Valley Review, East on
Central, Exact Change Only, Grand Little Things, Journal of Modern Poetry, Panoplyzine,
Poetry Cram, Poetry Pacific, The MacGuffin and Willow Review.
Mary Beth Bretzlauf is working on her first book of poems. Many of her poems have
appeared in several East on Central and Highland Park Poetry’s Muses’ Gallery
anthologies. Several of her short stories and poems have won local writing contests. She
is chapter facilitator for the North Chapter and Board member of the Illinois State Poetry
Society. Mary Beth lives in Northeastern Illinois with her granddog, Wrigley. The
Majesty of Trees, Poets & Artists Respond Root, Trunk & Branch is her third editing
collaboration with Jennifer Dotson.
FROM THE BOOK:
by Annie Jenkin
With roots buried deep
in to earth and water
an ancient beech
still stands firm.
Its once beautiful boughs
are few and bark-beetles
vacated long ago.
Yet there’s a ruggedness
a strength in this bare trunk,
its folklore wisdom on show.
As a sapling it felt
man’s vibrations, foot-fall
shouts, explosive bangs
and rustic iron clangs.
Granite hauled on to carts,
the tram’s rumble and stutter
echoed through the cutting.
Perhaps a miner leant
against its trunk, smoking
his little clay pipe.
Out of the old one’s roots
another sapling grows,
feeling the rivers flow
flush with heavy rainfall
eroding soft earth banks.
Swirling pools and rapids
breaking over dams
created by nature, the noise
at times, reminiscent
of what its ancestor heard.