The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016

The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems compiles more than thirty years of Maurya Simon’s poetic oeuvre. Her poems combine compelling investigations of the natural world with a sense of spirituality and a modern-day metaphysical sensibility. Simon’s writing is lucid and deeply moving, as well as being enriched by history, the classics, and visual art. These are poems that should be read, reread, and savored for the wisdom they impart and for their rich insights into the human condition. This beautiful book is illustrated with seventeen evocative, color-saturated paintings from the WEAVERS SERIES by Los Angeles artist, Baila Goldenthal.


“Maurya Simon’s language is lush, dense, sensual, and framed by a dazzling intellect. In this her New and Selected Poems we come to see the full power of her symphonic sweep and the sheer dynamism of her compositional slant―riffs, play, improvisation, harmonic resonance―yet the resolve is always there, always a breathless moment. . . . Maurya Simon’s œuvre is a deliberate world of grace, awe, beauty, delight, and wonder. In these poems you will find rest, comfort, deep questions, some discomfort, but always joy. Read this book―you will be grateful for it.”―Chris Abani, author of Sanctificum and Hands Washing Water

The Wilderness is nothing short of astonishing. Maurya Simon is a poet for the ages, an exuberant chronicler of moments large and small who discovers at every turn new ways of illuminating the sum of her experience, and in this new and selected edition of work gathered over many decades she reveals herself to be in the grip of what Wallace Stevens called ‘the necessary angel of earth’―the one who helps us to see the world around us in all its resplendent glory.”―Christopher Merrill, author of Self-Portrait with Dogwood

“Maurya Simon’s is one of the strongest, most humane, imaginative, compassionate, and flat-out brilliant voices of her generation.”―Richard Tillinghast

An old renaissance like painting of a woman with long hair holding up a mirror with a face inside of it and white script that reads The Wilderness New and Selected Poems 1980 – 2016 by Maurya Simon.

Maurya Simon ( Author Website )

Publication Date: April 30, 2018

Genre/Imprint: Poetry, Red Hen Press

$25.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-610-2


Maurya Simon essay featured in Press Enterprise

Memory is fickle, quixotic and slippery as an eel. It latches itself onto strong emotions like fear, anger, or surprise and it won’t let go. Up until adolescence, children often […]


By Maurya Simon Carved as the keystone in this Welsh church, she presides over penitents who see, when gazing upward towards some god or stars, a nude woman with bent […]

Media: Maurya Simon reads at UA Poetry

Maurya Simon reads poems from The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems 1980-2016 (2018). This reading was originally given with Peggy Shumaker as the inaugural reading in the Tom Sanders Memorial Reading Series. 


THE WILDERNESS featured in Green Mountains Review

Maurya Simon’s The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems 1980-2016 (Red Hen Press 2018, 218 pages) represents a life of questioning and perception, whether the scene is a backyard or a street in […]