Sandhya S., India

This is a unique collection of poems … a call to walk towards your core, slowly watching each step … being aware of each step in our journey in this amazing world….

This book ought to be your constant companion. It gently guides you along the path of awareness, getting to know every nuance of life. What the Earth needs the most today is mindfulness and heart fullness. These poems leads you into that realm … reminding us that we are all part of the universal spirit. Heartfelt thanks to the editors for the care and love that went into this sensitive selection.


Peter T., New Jersey

I have been practicing mindfulness meditation for over ten years. Three years ago I came to know Phyllis Cole-Dai as she edited and posted mindfulness poems daily on her website, “A Year of Being Here.” Her words and those of the poets she chose inspired, nourished and uplifted me in ways I cannot explain. I benefited immeasurably by reading Phyllis’s carefully curated works and the context she provided for her readers. ]This anthology grew out of that online project.] May all readers of Poetry of Presence experience the joy of reading and allowing these poems to take root and bear fruit in their lives. Thank you, dear Phyllis and Ruby.

Marie T., South Dakota

Congratulations on your success! I am slowly enjoying the book—sort of like choosing a delicious chocolate each night before sleeping.

Cathelijne E., The Netherlands

Poetry of Presence has stolen at least one Dutch heart. It’s a bundle to treasure your entire life and read over and over again. I keep it beside my bed, to read one random poem before sleeping. It’s also an excellent gift! I wrote a blog post about it on

David C., Oregon

I am bowled over by the evocative collection you’ve compiled. Almost every poem has elicited at least the tiniest of sobs, which is the vibration of my heart string—a short intake of air that remains unnoticed until it is let out in a slow sigh of recognition. Your collection has reframed every poem I’ve written and each poem I read.

Sandya S., India

After much anticipation I received the book on a beautiful day. I saw a rainbow that evening and when I got home the book was waiting for me! It is indeed a great gift. An elegant and precious volume, it will always be with me to dip into now and then. Thank you so much for this labor of love.

Holly W., Vermont

I am in love with your book! The pages are already dog-eared. I ordered three copies from my local bookstore and need to order more after bringing the book on a camping trip with my women friends over the weekend. I kept reading them poem after poem. So many ways to pause and connect. I have a long list [of people] to send your book out to, in gratitude for their presence in my life. My first three copies are being sent off tomorrow to my sister in East Africa, where she is Peace Corps Director (her 60th birthday); to a dear friend in Florida who recently was diagnosed with leukemia; and to a colleague with whom I co-facilitate Courage & Renewal retreats here in Vermont, as we use poetry as a way of listening deeply to one another in community and to ourselves. It is also nourishment for thought for the non-profit I run,, where living wholeheartedly and living mindfully are sisters.

I am starting and ending my days with a taste of one of the poems, so it can bring me both into the day, and into the night.

With gratitude,
Holly W.

Lucie A., Australia

Your beautiful book made it all the way to Sydney, Australia. I absolutely love it. I read it very slowly, and the poems give me lots of peace, inspiration and joy. Thank you so much. Sending you a few photos from the places where I have been reading….

Bill T., Texas

I plan to use this book as part of two group processes: One (called healing circles) which allows many to process and discuss their grief and loss issues from things such as cancer to the devastation from Harvey. The second is in leadership, where we are working with our city’s top leaders on emotional intelligence and presencing—helping them to identify the sources of fear, joy and what stops or serves them in leading.

Marianne Z., Minnesota

Yesterday at our church … I shared about Poetry of Presence during the announcements.  Everyone was supportive and interested in it.

After the service, one of our members who works as a counselor for the Veterans Administration in Montevideo, MN, said she plans to get a copy to use with her clients…. I think it could be a book that all VA hospitals and institutions across the country might want to have on hand.

I just received these comments today from a writer friend who deals with mental illness about your book:

“This is a poetry anthology that should be accessible, and of use, to a great many readers, so I hope it does well. I’ll plug it on Facebook, for sure, and also tell my therapist about it.”

Susan T., Ontario, Canada

You may be interested in an organization I founded based upon the principles of Pat Schneider, whose poetry is published in your book.  It is the Toronto Writers Collective and it provides free creative writing workshops to vulnerable communities. So this book will provide much inspiration to the writers we serve.

Fred M., New York

I’m so thrilled that the book is finally out!  Thank you for your deep compassion to our community of mindful poets and readers over many years.  As a neurologist, I have made much use of the poems that you shared on-line in my care of patients.  Now I will make much use of the book as a gift to friends and family.

I began reading and writing poems myself again through your inspiration. This has become central to my practice (double meaning intended), to my sense of being awake in the world, to my resilience and my capacity to be present for myself, my family and friends, and my patients.