Having grown up in Elmira and now living on a sheep farm and West Virginia, Cheryl Denise is no stranger to rural life and the vagaries of farm living. It’s only natural, then, that her second book of poetry should be infused with such stories. What’s in the Blood is the follow-up to I Saw God Dancing. It arrives in conjunction with a spoken-word poetry CD entitled Leaving Eden.
Her storytelling abilities are on display in all of her works.The poem from which the new book gets its name, for instance, tells the story of her great-grandfather, who had a farm between Elmira and Alma and got excommunicated from his church for buying a truck to deliver his vegetables. Some of the poems draw on her childhood in Elmira – time spent at John Mahood PS and Elmira District Secondary School – while others reflect the universal nature of drawing food from the ground and tending to animals.
As with the first book, What’s in the Blood is published by Cascadia Publishing House of Telford, Pennsylvania.
She’ll be back in this neck of the woods June 24 to read from the book, part of an afternoon of music and poetry at the Detweiler Meetinghouse, built in 1855 by Mennonite pioneers in Ontario, located a mile west of Roseville (www.detweilermeetinghouse.ca). The event, which starts at 3 p.m., is free and open to the public, with refreshments to follow.
No Discernible Key will provide a musical setting with a mix of acoustic Canadian folk music and some gospel tunes for good measure. Band members include Fred W. Martin, Dave Neufeld, Jim Bender and Dwight Steinman.
When she’s not writing, Cheryl Denise Miller (she uses here given names as her nom de plume) is a nurse for an in-home care program. She and her husband live in Phillippi, WV.
Her books and CDs will be available for purchase at the reading and also at cdbaby.com, Amazon.com, BN.com, or at her dad’s shop, Bauman Printing in Elmira.