Sortings by Ann Taylor


Sortings is a collection of poems focusing on the process of making distinctions, reflecting on life’s experiences, trying to discover and express what really mattered and continues to matter. The book explores a variety of subjects – childhood and growing up, the natural world, travel, artworks, and teaching. A major focus of this collection is the sorting through recent experiences with the poet’s mother as she traveled from the vital, funny, ironic, loving person she was, to becoming a 96-year-old elder struggling with the torments of dementia. The book has a kind of emotional coherence and a narrative arc, moving from memory to more recent subjects that inevitably link the now to the then.

Category: Tag:


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 122
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May, 2020
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-80-0


Looking back into life’s emotive rhythms, Taylor stitches an elegant and distinctive miscellany of what really matters onto her forward tableau of turning pages. Marvels of carillon church bells, skewered nightcrawlers, conquistadora swans, and singing comets evince the poet’s eye-popping breadth as well as the depth of her timeless poetic narrations. —Dennis Daly

There are few poets I enjoy reading more than Ann Taylor. Her newest collection, Sortings, is a wind-swept dream of memories, from days of early childhood reading lessons to the raw reality of passing time. Taylor’s lyrical yet honest style remains true to form, and she is still one of my favorite living poets. Sortings is a must-read for anyone who loves beautifully written poetry about everyday life in all its many colors. —Meredith Allard 



The outrageous orange sweater I bought to cheer her up.
The dark blue fleece she ordered for herself.

At the pond the leaves spin their annual color wheel,
the chill wind today setting them off. I must stay here.

Fading slides of all of us in the back yard, at Christmas,
and with Las Vegas neon, Old Faithful, Badlands barrens.

A framed photo of herself, patient while I shot a double view,
she reflected exactly on the pond’s smooth surface.

A friend’s advice – See all of this as sharing her with others.
But I don’t. I expect her to walk in at any time. I hoard.

Bound for the pond, noisy Canada Geese fly over her roof.
She’d notice them. And she’d notice what I’ve been dismissing.

A box of Hummels, empty holy water bottles, funeral prayer cards,
an Atomic alarm clock I gave her for blasting her awake.

I wonder how long the young swans trail their mothers,
if they ever revisit their frozen nests, claim them.

I keep three teacups with matching saucers –
Belleek, Waterford, English bone. I don’t drink tea.


Ann TaylorAnn Taylor is a Professor of English at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. where she teaches both literature and writing courses. She has written two books on college composition, academic and free-lance essays, and a collection of personal essays, Watching Birds: Reflections on the Wing (Ragged Mountain/McGraw Hill). Her first poetry book, The River Within, won first prize in the 2011 Cathlamet Poetry competition at Ravenna Press. A chapbook, Bound Each to Each (Finishing Line Press) was published in 2013. Her most recent collection, published in 2018, Héloïse and Abélard: the Exquisite Truth (WordTech Communications), is based on the twelfth-century story of their lives.

Additional information

Weight 8.3 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .375 in