Chris Maxwell’s second collection of poems, embracing now: pain, joy, healing, living continues Chris’s honest meditations on the trials of being simultaneously both a caregiver and a sufferer of viral encephalitis and, beyond all of that, a man living an everyday life. His honesty about his trials throughout lends sincerity to his affirmations of belief and ultimate embrace of hope. Rather than producing a collection of predictable pieties, Chris works in the tradition of the psalmists, whose honest feelings permeated their ancient poetry alongside their very real doubts and their ultimate expressions of faith. As before, Chris’s poetry is highly accessible to those unused to reading poetry but still engaging for those who read it regularly. Everyone who has ever lived and struggled, meaning everyone, can find something in these poems that will bring hope to their everyday lives.
—Dr. James Rovira
Multigenre/multimodal freelance writer, scholar, and poet
There are some truths only poetry can teach, some places within us that only poetry can reach. Chris Maxwell has taken such pains with this excellent poetry that it can reach into the places of our own pain and dislocation and offer healing words and liberating truth. Seamus Heaney once said that the best poetry offers us “phrases that feed the soul”: this collection is full of excellent “soul food.”
Chris Maxwell is the only person in my book who pens poetry I want to sip, slurp, and guzzle; then pour another glass by turning to the next page!