Releasing the Days

A native poet's first collection

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Releasing the Days is the first collection of poetry drawn from over thirty years of Stephen Meadows’s work. Crafted from his sense of place and grounded in ocean, orchard, and rock, his poems strip down life to its bare essentials.

Memory joins hands with the reeds and the smell of matches. An old woman leans on a walnut tree beside a house half-haunted with unuttered toils. And the moon slips past the bruised Nevada mountains echoing the night’s journey from the sun.

Characterized by a profound connection to the past and the stark magnificence of the present, Releasing the Days leaves an imprint that remains long after we’ve passed the roadside barn swallowed up by grass and time.


“In these quiet, clear-sighted poems, Stephen Meadows reminds us to look carefully outside ourselves to seek answers to our human questions and nudges us to open our eyes to the daily wonders of our world.”

—Barbara Bloom, poet and author of On the Water Meridian


“Stephen Meadows has a true gift for poetry. He wrote ‘In the Water over Stones’ for his great-aunt Isabel Meadows, who left behind a rich body of Ohlone cultural knowledge. Now Stephen offers up his own gift to us all, expressing his very human and very California experience.”

—Linda Yamane, Rumsien Ohlone basketweaver and tribal scholar


“I’ll take my holy communion from Stephen Meadows, his poems host to the spirit of landscape and the immediacies of life. Stephen’s poems remind me of vespertine, rooted in sacred ground, face to the sun.”

—Robin Somers, author of Backyard Burning


"Simplicity and spareness of words coupled with the poet’s keen vision make Releasing the Days a work of mindfulness and grace."

—Amber Coverdale Sumrall, author of Refuge and Litany of Wings


“Meadows's poems are written close to the bone, not an ounce of fat, and not a word to be missed. His words will change you; they'll make you see the world anew.”

—Patrice Vecchione, author of Writing and the Spiritual Life


About the Author

Stephen Meadows is a Californian of pioneer and Ohlone Indian descent. He earned degrees from San Francisco State University and UC Santa Cruz, where he worked under National Book Award winner Lucille Clifton. His poems have appeared in anthologies and journals nationwide, and one graces a bronze plaque in San Francisco. A twenty-year veteran of public radio  and a former West Point cadet, Meadows now lives with his family in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.