Paul J. Willis lives with his wife, Sharon, in Santa Barbara, California, where he is a professor of English at Westmont College. He has previously published six collections of poetry; two collections of essays; a quartet of eco-fantasy novels, The Alpine Tales; and, most recently, a middle-grade time-travel novel, All in a Garden Green (Slant). www.pauljwillis.com.
“At times wistful, occasionally heartbreaking, often humorous, and always tender, Paul Willis’s Somewhere to Follow is a love letter to the natural world with plenty of affectionate notes to humankind jotted in the margins. Reading these poems during a personally busy era has reminded me that while there’s more to life than my daily routines and surroundings, everything I need can be found in those wondrous places. As Willis writes, ‘no one knows where this trail goes,’ but his voice is the someone to follow.”
—Tania Runyan, author of What Will Soon Take Place
“In Paul Willis’s new book there is much to admire and enjoy. Not least among these qualities is a specific attention to, and love of, the natural world—something for which his poems are well-known, a ‘tenderness toward existence,’ as Kinnell had it. Also the virtues of clarity and concision, and especially a deep humanity and compassion for others, perfectly balanced by a subtle wit and fine sense of humor—a complete and resonant vision.”
—Christopher Buckley, author of Pre-Eternity of the World
“I’ve admired the work of Paul Willis for many years, yet this collection arrives as a revelation—the span of these poems, their lifelong reach, quiet tenderness, and, yes, wisdom. Willis has his eye on the world, an eye that refuses to objectify, but stands in relation to presence on earth, his own, and multitudinous life.”