I Gave Her A Name
Rachel Hunt Steenblik and Ashley Mae Hoiland are pilgrims, dreamers, explorers in search of our Heavenly Mother and the country where she dwells. Together they have created a record of their journey, an exploration in visual and literary art, of their search. They search everywhere--looking back at mothers and grandmothers and forward to mothering their own daughters and sons. They consider giving birth, nursing, and nurturing children as experiences women share with their Mother. They examine seasons, maple trees, the moon, dragonflies, spiders, bears and eagles as metaphors for Her beauty, fierceness, and power. They re-read, re-write, and re-interpret scripture to apply to women as well as men. They consider Eve, Mary, Emmeline, Emma, Sophia, Penelope, Hannah, and many other women for clues. They learn individual lessons about Mother from a broad community of friends, family, writers, and poets (the sources are indicated in page after page of notes at the end of the collection). Hoiland's drawings, evocative in both line and color, invite a deeper and prolonged attention to Hunt Steenblik's poems. These two fine artists attempt to reach through language and visual art toward spiritual truth. That attempt requires openness, simplicity, repetition, pauses, and space for the reader. This is a book to read slowly, to consider, to savor. The gifts it offers will last.
--Susan Elizabeth Howe, co-editor of Discoveries: Two Centuries of Poems by Mormon Women and author of Salt
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