Mary Beth Hines sings to us out of the staircases, back yards, and swimming pools of a life sumptuously lived, a world rife with joys and enticements, with girlhood wish and adulthood tryst. Each song lifts on the updrafts of a language passionately breathed. The poems are arrayed with such stunning craft that the art dissolves into the narrative. One forgets that one is reading and imagines that one is reliving this life. Winter at a Summer House is, in the words of one of the poems, a “gift to spark remembrance,” as if the memories had become our own.
~Tom Daley, author of House You Cannot Reach
From birth/death and first/last words–– the poems in Mary Beth Hines’s collection, Winter at a Summer House, entice us into the arc of a woman’s life, and tip us into her fall from innocence into experience. The poems are dares, flirting with risk, and holding bliss and danger in a tactile bond of “teeth and ice, breath and coyotes.” They give us what we want from poetry: to be bundled up and awakened; to be reminded before the storm that the storm is coming. We must hold hands and walk under the shape-shifting sky of “old faces––familiar, before they split/and spill, erase us.”
~Kelly DuMar, author of girl in tree bark, Tree of the Apple, and All These Cures
The poems in Mary Beth Hines’s first collection, Winter at a Summer House, strike a wonderful balance between narratives of everyday experience and a pristine, pure poetic imagination. Always rhythmically diverse, most of the time mellifluous, and often intense, Hines’s poetry vividly paints the life of a modern self-made woman, with her worries and obligations, her family, and her dreams. In response to the heroine’s world, this poetry, never static, vibrates with all sorts of emotions: love, friendship, youthful infatuations, amorousness, jealousy, altruism. As a result, the book gives its reader all the pleasures of a novel—and of lyric novelty.
~Katia Kapovich, author of Gogol in Rome and Cossacks and Bandits
Mary Beth Hines speaks to the bruised optimist within all of us, with her eyes-wide-open sensuality, her knowing assessment of the risks of connection, and her willingness to take the dare, to place her bets, and hope that the wheel is not rigged.
~Roderick Bates, editor of Rat's Ass Review
Article in The Cape Cod Times, May 9, 2022.
Review by Savvy Verse & Wit, April 27, 2022 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Winter at a Summer House” explores the evolution of a self-made woman from birth through her later years, enhanced by the water imagery of the undulating waves that affect all our lives….”
Review by Necromancy Never Pays, March 30, 2022 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "...Anyone...lucky enough to spend a summer's day by the sea, will feel the pull of these images from memory, requiring you to swim parallel for a while in order to successfully emerge."
Review by True Book Addict, March 25, 2022 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "...It's a wonderful thing when one reads a poem and immediately recognizes something of themselves in those lines..."
Review on The Book Connection, January 26, 2022 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “…From “Scarborough Sail to “Before the Blizzard” and a unique offering told from the perspective of an alligator, each poem drew me in deeper until I polished off the last poem [“Winter at a Summer House”]…so moving and so beautiful that I had to read it over again…”
Anthony Avina's Review, January 13, 2022 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "A meaningful, engaging, and breathtakingly beautiful collection. Author Mary Beth Hines's "Winter at a Summer House" is a must-read poetry book!"
Wall-to-Wall Books, December 15, 2021 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Beautifully written...each poem painted a picture...I felt as though I was there...If you are a lover of poetry or have a friend that is, this would make a great gift!"
The Book Lover’s Boudoir, December 14, 2021 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “….I enjoyed the poems in this collection very much. They were beautifully written and vivid. Many of the poems are clearly personal but touch on universal subjects and ideas like love, family life and memory…”