Marilyn Sewell is senior minister of the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon and the editor of Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women's Spirituality. In the introduction to this ambitious 300 poem collection, she states that the unifying factor of the verse she has chosen is that they are all "great with life." Sewell also believes the poems by women teach us how to live.

This excellent resource is divided into sections on From This We Come, By This We Live, From Fullness We Give, We Bless Those Who Follow and Out of the Void: Faith and Courage with thematic chapters on such topics as Generations, Defiance, the Earth and Her Creatures, Illness, Aging, Work, and Compassion. Some of the poets included in this paperback are Sandra Cisneros, Tess Gallagher, Maxine Kumin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Anne Sexton, Linda Hogan, Kathleen Norris and others. Here is a sample poem "The Healing Time" by Pesha Gertler:

Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds
the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin, my bones,
those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say holy