Coral Castles

Coral Castles
Carol Bailock, RSCJ
2019- June
Fernwood Press

A poem she wrote has been translated into multiple languages, set to music, and featured in a best-selling book on spirituality and the twelve steps. But until recently, the author of "Breathing Underwater" has been virtually unknown, and the collection containing that famous poem has never been published. Richard Rohr calls it "stunning"; other writers and poets describe Carol Bialock's debut collection as "brilliant and luminous"; "lighthearted and holy"; "dynamic, immediate, ecstatic"; "a book of love and God ... bursting into bloom."


“Reading Carol Bialock’s poems, I forget to doubt and critique and meddle and complain. Here is a spiritual poetry that offers the reader vivid, dynamic, immediate, ecstatic experience on a human scale. ‘Dizzy with love and light,’ this book is a delight.”
—Katie Peterson, author of A Piece of Good News

“Carol Bialock’s work hums in wise praise of a world hemmed in mystery and wildness. Brilliant and luminous, each poem burns with a quiet, interior light.”
—Gina Ochsner, author of The Hidden Letters of Velta B.

“‘All you need is a little courage’ Carol Bialock declares, and then takes us through image and rhythm on a “trip to the edge of the world” where we encounter sacred mysteries, the heart of the poet, and our own surprising wholeness. This work is lighthearted and holy, whimsical and profound—the fruit of a life spent watching for wonder, the gift of a soul in love with the world.”
—Bethany Lee, author of The Breath Between

“Honestly, the poetry of Carol Bialock is stunning! Her ability to communicate inner states, universal truths, and spiritual depth is unparalleled. What a loss that the world did not discover her earlier! But it is not too late!”
—Richard Rohr, OFM, Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation

“Carol Bialock’s Coral Castles is a wide and generous door into poetry and joy. These poems offer us a merging of forces that are tangible and full of delight: here we find bone meeting soul, I journeying to We, and the seen fearlessly greeting the unseen. ‘Go sane,’ the poems tell us, ‘You are the whole, not part…Come home to being world / and galaxy / and universe.’ This is a book of love and God in which poet and poem also fuse, bursting into bloom. I want to give it to everyone I know, saying, ‘Look and see!’”
—Annie Lighthart, author of Iron String and Lantern

“Carol Bialock’s heart is a ‘huge and lovely land’ filled with poems of invitation to the available communion in every moment. They affirm that God is irresistibly, mysteriously afoot. Sister Carol is not afraid of paradox or the embodied wild experience of the greatest, fierce and Sacred Adventure. She asks us to ‘let the true Gods out’ and to know ‘we have been in heaven all our lives.’ She is a loving companion whispering to us look, listen, touch, right here now, do you love this world? All you need is a little courage, a dash of daring.
Take the invitation, read these poems, walk this mystic’s path, join this wise woman awhile.”
—Peg Edera, author of Love Is Deeper than Distance


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