Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation

This luminous anthology brings together great poets from around the world whose work transcends culture and time. Their words reach past the outer divisions to the universal currents of love and revelation that move and inspire us all. These poems urge us to wake up and love. They also call on us to relinquish our grip on ideas and opinions that confine us and, instead, to risk moving forward into the life that is truly ours.

In his selection, Roger Housden has placed strong emphasis on contemporary voices such as the American poet laureate Billy Collins and the Nobel Prize–winners Czeslaw Milosz and Seamus Heaney, but the collection also includes some timeless echoes of the past in the form of work by masters such as Goethe, Wordsworth, and Emily Dickinson.

The tens of thousands of readers of Roger Housden’s “Ten Poems” series will welcome this beautiful harvest of poems that both open the mind and heal the heart.


“Editor Housden is a dab hand at using poetry as a means to spiritual fulfillment. Now he demonstrates that he really knows poetry in an inspirational anthology sans inspirational chestnuts. Oh, Emily Dickinson is here, but with the hoydenish “Wild Nights.” The love Housden encourages includes sex–see the Anna Swir selections and Galway Kinnell’s ‘Rapture’–and the spirituality he fosters is active even at its quietest, when the soul of existence is suddenly apprehended. Given that agenda, Robert Bly is all over the book, as poet and translator (Housden invariably picks the often-arid Bly at his juiciest), and the Sufis Rumi and Hafiz are here: for Housden, ecstasy is a touchstone of true love and spirituality. But so, it seems, is domesticity (see Wendell Berry’s ‘One Faith Is Bondage’) and even morality (see T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Dove Descending’). Only once is a note of New Age solipsism struck.” – Booklist 

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