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Muses Like Moonlight:
A Closet Poet Comes Out
by Colleen Redman


(Press Release: March 15, 2004)

Muses Like Moonlight: A Closet Poet Comes Out
A New Book by Colleen Redman

From the seacoast town of Hull, Massachusetts, where she grew up, to country life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Floyd, Virginia, Colleen Redman’s writing creates a bridge between the two places she calls home. Her first book, The Jim and Dan Stories, which chronicles her experience after losing two brothers within a month’s time, is required reading for a grief and loss class at Radford University in Virginia.

In Muses Like Moonlight, her first collection of poetry, Redman draws from her past and celebrates the present with subjects ranging from her “Grandmother’s Brogue” to “Steamy August and the Hose Stud.” The poems are woven together and introduced by Redman’s essays, in which she comments on her early aversion to poetry (in favor of jump rope songs and Bob Dylan lyrics), homesteading, giving poetry readings, courting the muses (“more fickle than cats already well-fed”) and more.

A former creative writing teacher at the Blue Mountain School in her adopted hometown of Floyd, Redman is a longtime contributor to and co-editor of “A Museletter,” a community forum. She writes political commentaries that have been widely published and maintains a website, which serves as a contact place for her writing and her books. In describing herself for a recent writer’s bio-note, she wrote: “I keep a dictionary in the backseat of my car and a kaleidoscope in my glove compartment. What else do you need to know?”

Redman’s poetry has appeared locally in Appalachian Voices, Katuah, Expressions, Appalachian Woman’s Journal, The New River Free Press, and nationally in the We’moon Journal, Mothering Magazine, and Poets against the War online. She says, “I write poetry by ear, the way some musicians play, even though they don’t read music. I want to counter the notion that poetry is obscure and often hard to read. At its best, my poetry is a cross between Haviz, the Sufi mystic, and Richard Brautigan, the Big Sur beat poet. At least theirs is the directness I strive for.

Redman believes she has a genetic trait for writing, passed on by her Irish ancestors. “The Irish side of my family is rich with storytellers; some poems and a song have been published, and there are a few unpublished novels still floating around. I think the Irish influence in my poetry manifests as humor, my love of wordplay, and my inclination towards short poems (about limerick size),” Redman points out.

Muses Like Moonlight, published by Silver and Gold Productions and printed at Brightside Press in Radford, is 110 pages and cost $13. The cover art was done by Floyd artist, Aven Tanner who teaches art at Blue Mountain School and William Flemming High School in Roanoke.

Redman will be available to sign books at the Harvest Moon on Thursday, April 22nd from 2 to 4 p.m., and the New Mountain Mercantile on Saturday, May 1st from 1 to 3 p.m., both are Floyd locations where the book will be sold. To learn more about Redman and her books, or to order a book, go to You can also purchase The Jim and Dan Stories or Muses Like Moonlight by sending $13 plus $2 postage to the author at 151 Ridge Haven Road, Floyd, Virginia, 24091.

Read samples from the book.

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