Odes: Poets Praising People, Places & Things
Editors Jennifer Dotson & Mary Beth Bretzlauf
68 poems ~ 79 pages
Price: $12.00
Publisher: Highland Park Poetry
ISBN: 979-8-218-03079-9
To Order: Amazon.com


“An Ode, according to poets.org, is a formal address to an event, a person, or a thing not present. The name comes from the Greek aeidein, meaning to sing or chant, and belongs to the long and varied tradition of lyric poetry.” Even if one doesn’t care about “formal” definitions of the form, Highland Park Poetry’s latest publication, Odes: Poets Praising People, Places & Things, is nothing short of a glittering tribute to the form. The talented poets of Highland Park, 68 of them, have once again, outdone themselves.


“Highland Park Poetry’s editors regularly publish a delightful array of anthologies featuring adult and student poets from throughout the U.S. and foreign countries. Odes: Poets Praising People, Places & Things is no exception. From “Ode to the Clothesline,” “Ode to a Toolshed,” to “Ode to a Former Dorm Mate,” and dozens of conceivable themes in between, readers will find no shortage of thought-provoking and amusing expressions to stimulate their imaginations, spark their memories, and lighten their mood. This poetry appeals to readers’ senses, entertaining them with evocative imagery, rhythm, and musicality. Readers will laugh, become wistful, and even find solace from talented writers of many backgrounds. Sit in a quiet place, read this book, and reread it cover to cover.”
–Charlotte Digregorio, author, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing

“What a treasure hunt to find all the delights stored in this amazing collection of Odes. Jennifer Dotson, editor of Highland Park’s Poetry Muses, has turned the sober form on its head. Instead of replicating ancient Grecian dictates, poets were simply asked to express their appreciation of whatever seemed noteworthy in their lives. These were deftly categorized into things versatile as wet noodles, places like Sportsman’s Park backstretch and people such as a memorable Sister Millicent. Captivated by sparkling illustrations, you will quickly discover the joys, longings and humor of the human heart within these vibrant pages.”
–Joan McNerney, author of Love Poems for Michael

Odes is an anthology of poems praising creation in all its forms. Titles such as "Ode to my Mutt,” "Ode to Imperfection," "The Blue Bedroom,” or "My Father's Woodpile" imply poems distilled from the regular routine of days. Good poems! However, 6 poems written by children in 3rd or 4th grade are also included. They, too, are a pleasure to read with a "high five!" to editors Jennifer Dotson and Mary Beth Bretzlauf for recognizing and including these children's interest in writing poetry. They are the future for the art of poetry.”
–Barbara Robinette, author of Affirmation


Jennifer Dotson is the author of Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems Kelsay Books, 2020) and Clever Gretel (Chicago Press), 2013). Jennifer has been published in After Hours, East on Central, Griffel, and The MacGuffin, among others. She is the creative engine behind HighlandparkPoetry.org, which she founded in 2007.

Mary Beth Bretzlauf is (still) 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. She is also a member of Highland Park Poetry’s Live Events team. She loves co-editing poetry books with Jennifer Dotson and Highland Park Poetry.


Ode to Big Hats

by Barbara Boothe Loyd
Granbury, Texas

In the shade of a big, shoulder-width chapeau, I
spend hours basking outside without skin damage.
In the shadow of colorful brims, I use summer as a verb,
transported for a little while to the land of leisure,
of gardening, or plein air painting.
To others, these may resemble idleness, but become my art forms.
In the shade of a big hat I feel instantly beautiful,
Glamorous and intriguing while hiding
humdrum tresses under its ample circumference.
Yes, veiled by a straw hat, I instantly feel like a vacationer,
even in my own backyard.
Bring on the lazy days of Old Sol’s heat, because
I am sufficiently well adorned with a protective cover.


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