James Crews has given us all the chance to breathe deeply with this follow-up to How to Love the World. Each poem in this anthology is a warm sweater, a soft hug, a glimmer of hope. Drawing from the works of veterans of the craft as well as emerging poets, The Path to Kindness walks us through themes such as motherhood, friendship, and the tenderness of our mortality. This is a collection that belongs on your bedside table, always within reach.
— Holly V.
Following the success and momentum of his anthology How to Love the World (93,000 copies in print), James Crews's new collection, The Path to Kindness, offers more than 100 deeply felt and relatable poems from a diverse range of voices including well-known writers Julia Alvarez, Marie Howe, Ellen Bass, Naomi Shihab Nye, Alberto Ríos, Ross Gay, and Ada Limón, as well as new and emerging voices. Featured Black poets include January Gill O’Neil, Tracy K. Smith, and Cornelius Eady. Native American poets include Kimberly Blaeser, Joy Harjo (current U.S. Poet Laureate), and Linda Hogan. The collection also features international voices, including Canadian poets Lorna Crozier and Susan Musgrave. Presented in the same perfect-in-the-hand format as How to Love the World, the collection includes prompts for journaling and exploration of selected poems, a book group guide, bios of all the contributing poets, and stunning cover art by award-winning artist Dinara Mirtalipova. A foreword by Danusha Laméris, along with her popular poem "Small Kindnesses," is also included.
About the Author
James Crews is the editor of the best-selling anthology, How to Love the World, which has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, in the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, and is the author of four prize-winning collections of poetry: The Book of What Stays, Telling My Father, Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment. His poems have been reprinted in the New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, The New Republic, and The Christian Century, and in former US poet laureate Ted Kooser’s weekly newspaper column, “American Life in Poetry,” and featured on Tracy K. Smith’s podcast, The Slowdown. He worked with Ted Kooser on “American Life in Poetry,” which reaches millions of readers across the world. Crews holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a PhD in writing and literature from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He teaches poetry at the University at Albany and lives with his husband in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Danusha Laméris is the author of two books: The Moons of August (Autumn House, 2014), which was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press poetry prize, and Bonfire Opera (University of Pittsburgh, 2020), which won the Northern California Book Award. Winner of the Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, she teaches in the Pacific University low-residency MFA Program and co-hosts with James Crews the Poetry of Resilience online seminars. She lives in Santa Cruz County, California.
“Our world desperately needs poems that help us come home to loving presence. You have in your hands an anthology with poems that directly nourish the spirit.” — Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance
“This collection of poetry is soul food worthy of savoring. Each poem is a feast unto itself, delivering nourishment for the heart's greatest tenacity and generosity - so needed in our individual and collective lives. It is a banquet of blessings to which I will return often. Thank you.” — Kristi Nelson, Executive Director of A Network for Grateful Living and author of Wake Up Grateful
"The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy is the book we all need right now to help guide us during this crazy time in living our lives with more kindness, compassion and joy." — Georgia Heard, author of A Field Guide to the Heart: Poems of Love, Comfort, and Hope
"The Path to Kindness is an anthology I’ve been seeking since I learned to read. To enter its pages is to enter a refuge, a sanctuary where the religion is tenderness and every voice encountered wears its heart on its sleeve. James Crews has curated these poems with exquisite care: the delicate threads linking each to the next weave the whole into a multivoiced spell that leaves the reader both broken open and deeply healed at once. This is a return of poetry to it’s sacred place as a song of prayer to the best in us, a song of grief for the lost in us, a song to awaken the possible in us. And ultimately, The Path to Kindness is a song that carries us beyond ourselves into the ways we touch each other’s lives, nameable only in poems such as these." — Kim Rosen, author of Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words
"Is kindness a quaint, ineffectual virtue? For poet and editor James Crews, the answer is a resounding no. As he demonstrates throughout “The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy,” a follow-up collection to his bestselling anthology “How to Love the World,” kindness can be life-altering. It may also help people find a way forward during the most difficult days." — Christian Science Monitor