This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on Judyth Hill.
Short Bio: I’m a poet, author, editor and teacher living in the aspen-swept mountains of Colorado. Educated at Sarah Lawrence College, I studied with Robert Bly, Galway Kinnell, and deep ecologist Dolores LaChapelle. A recipient of numerous literary grants, I served as Literary Projects Coordinator for New Mexico State Arts Division, 1994-2000, and am the current President of PEN San Miguel.
I have conducted poetry and memoir workshops at conferences world-round, authored poetry curriculum for the O’Keeffe and Folk Art Museums in Santa Fe, NM, am the Poet-in-Residence at various schools in the U.S., offer classes, manuscript-editing and mentoring online at www.judythhill.com, and lead global WildWriting Culinary Adventures (learn more at www.eat-write-travel.com).
My nine published books of poetry include Dazzling Wobble and Tzimtzum. My poems are widely anthologized. I have co-authored cookbooks and textbooks, and was the Santa Fe, NM, restaurant critic for the Albuquerque Journal. I am also the creator/owner of Santa Fe’s premier bakery, The Chocolate Maven.
I was described by the St. Helena Examiner as “Energy with skin,” and by the Denver Post as “A tigress with a pen.”
Thoughts about mindfulness and poetry:
I’m from the “Everything Matters” school of writing.
My writing, performing and teaching come from my faith in the delicate and intricate connection of our political, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, imaginational bodies, both within the self, and within the social web, to each other.
And all of this connected to our funny bone.
I love the balancing of craft and passion, the work behind the work. And then, I love to share it with you.
Because that’s what completes the circle of the creative act: it’s not “whole and sole” without your presence.
So, Everything Matters:
Being a force for good in the world, keeping a sense of justice and a sense of humor. Knowing to fall in love with each other, good desserts, red tails in flight. To notice Bear Creek when she is running full, the appearance of mourning doves in June, the line breaks in Williams, the melody in Yeats, the instress in Hopkins and the way the lilacs fill the city with purple blossoms in April.
To use my mother’s good dishes because she never did, and my own gift with language, because if I don’t, who will?
Making love, dinner and connections. Getting the point. Listening deeply to the music of the ordinary, the wisdom of elders and infants, and the night wind moving through. And singing it back, as best my innate talents and acquired skills will grant me.
Making sure my best keeps getting better.
Admiring the plain, astonishing beauty everywhere present, and not losing sight of the fallen, the Middle East, and oil spilling onto our so-vulnerable seacoasts.
Remembering to show gratitude, forgiveness and a little leg.
Remembering that if it’s true that 90% of success is just showing up, 10% of every effort goes for glory.
So, I am here, pen in hand, ready, willing, able: and going for gold.
“My life in new surrounds has graced me with learning to rest in the All-The-Way-Alive center of Right Here; to fall, once and for all, in love with the Way It Is. It’s a pure practice of awe. It’s give and let give, it’s touch and know, and better still, it’s right here, the Altar of the Ordinary, a shrine we fill with acacia and adverbs, cappuccino and thick cumulous—a way we find…. by stopping the search, and staying Present.”—Judyth Hill
“Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we have been waiting for.”—Hopi Elders
“You know we have come at last home
because we can’t see anything here
that is not already the Beloved.”
Fun facts about “Wage Peace” (my poem in Poetry of Presence):
“Wage Peace” has been set to music by four different composers, and performed by a full symphony orchestra, a women’s chorus, a college choir, and a lounge performer! And a fifth composer is working on a new version now!
“Wage Peace” has gone around and around the world on the internet, inspiring many amazing activities for peace.
A grassroots group of Palestinian and Israeli women created a peace organization in 2014, naming their efforts in the Middle East after the poem: Women Wage Peace. It currently has over 20,000 members.
The world famous graffiti artist, Banksy, was inspired by “Wage Peace” to create a large mural, “The Flower Thrower,” in Jerusalem.
The University of San Diego Center for Mindfulness teaches “Wage Peace” in their curriculum, as does the International Society of Military Ethics.
Website and social media: