In Homespun Mercies, a first collection of poems and collage, DJ Hill allows herself great freedom, to move between the past and the present, between sureness and reverie, between the spirit and the body. DJ’s impulses are reflected in both her poems—the variety of forms, the content that obsesses—and her collages, full of surprise, and plenty of a kind of darkness, which balances and pushes against some of the ways her poems come to their conclusions. This artist crosses borders, honors risk, and chooses to be bold. We contemplate her choices, and are inspired.
— Deborah Keenan, author of ten collections of poetry and one book of writing ideas: from tiger to prayer, from broad craft press
These marvelously intimate poems create a portrait of what can happen when we fully bare ourselves to love—whether that of a partner, of the universe, or of the divine. Through both image and language, Homespun Mercies presents beautiful and startling collages: over and over, the poems declare a belief in growth and beauty, without forgetting the pain that has brought the speaker to every gorgeous moment.
— Anna George Meek, Author of Acts of Contortion, Engraved, and The Genome Rhapsodies
“My aunt once told me she dreamed her house/ Had a secret room, one which held everything/ She loved most,” poet DJ Hill writes. This debut collection throws open a door to the “secret room” all of us keep inside ourselves. Hill examines “what life requires” of us, along with the ways real lives work, in an arresting juxtaposition of visual art and poetry. The result is honest, joyful, and direct, but make no mistake: Hill also has an edge. Like the poem “Slip” where a woman plans her life exhaustively only to drive to work and realize she’s forgotten to put on her dress, these poems are revealing, humorous, and wise about the complexities and contradictions of human hearts.
— Katrina Vandenberg, author of The Alphabet Not Unlike the World and Atlas
Homespun Mercies took me to new depths, colors, and feelings interwoven into things we encounter daily yet only have time to absorb in a single dimension. The caramelized richness of the poems and the amazing mind-drifting collages are a multifaceted journey into the sublime.
— John Runne, artist