A 1994 trip to Syria and Jordan as an Arts America Speaker for the United States Information Agency began the group of poems for The Collector of Bodies. The manuscript stayed in a file until the Civil War began in Syria, March 18, 2011, the author's 70th birthday. The poems were retrieved, and the manuscript continued.
Glancy wrote as an observer--as someone who had talked to the students in the universities--who had experienced a foreboding of what was ahead for Syria, especially after listening to the unrest of the students. In the bright sunlight, as they walked toward her, smiling, she felt an inexplicable point of grief. She heard the desire of the people to be free. Later, following the uprising of civil war on the news, she knew she was seeing the price the Syrians would pay for that desire.
A visit to a foreign country leaves part of oneself in that place. But something in return is taken. This collection of poems explores the "something that is taken" with implications for the Christian believer and the issues involved. What can be done in a world full of refugees? Is there anything to do other than stand back and watch?