Archive for the ‘Major Announcements!!!’ Category

My new collection of poems
about birding and the spiritual life:


hard-copy * read online


We went to the water
to see the Pelican –

the one, they say, who stabs her breast
and feeds her young with blood (like Christ),

but there was no bird like that
on the little islands by the pier.

There were Western Gulls instead,
crying out like Alcyone for Ceys,

flying over us like the ragged mists
of dreams we dream at dawn

and, waking, find
have told us the truth.

We were standing close together, just above
the water, like the Light Princess and her Prince,

when I noticed the cliff swallows
darting over the waves, under the pier

where they have hidden their nests
and are feeding the future

with a constant love
that never fails.



Read Full Post »

Now available from Lulu Press,
JANE BEAL’s new poetry collection:



“Jane’s perspective, from being an international midwife and a talented writer, gives rise to the absolutely beautiful poems contained in this little book. She incorporates sweetly the people she has served in her birth practice and travels. She also teaches us some midwifery along the way! Jane’s great faith in our Lord adds so much to this labor-of-love volume. I highly recommend this book. It should be in the possession of all midwives and mothers.”

Jan Tritten
Editor of Midwifery Today
Author of Birth Wisdom, Vol. 1 & 2

“Birth is sacred experience: a time when the formless takes form.  In Jane Beal’s new book, Transfiguration: A Midwife’s Birth Poems, we are taken through beautiful poetic form, closer to the spirit of birth. We feel both joy and grief. But who are we to question the ways of the spirit? As much as we try to understand birth, its mystery remains a miracle – and that is what draws us into Transfiguration.”

Cathy Daub
President of BirthWorks International
Author of Birthing in the Spirit

Read Full Post »

Selkie Finds the Sea

is now available in the journal,

Journey of the Heart: Women’s Spiritual Poetry.

couple at sea

Read Full Post »

Selkie Takes her Turn

by Jane Beal

now available at Forgotten


“Selkie” by Awreon

Read Full Post »

“Pomona’s Garden”

“Echo Finds her Body”

by Jane Beal


Read Full Post »

9m BEAL-NewCrops-2015

“Other pilgrims pace restlessly through this book: Jane Beal finds poetry when she visits landmarks in Rome, but her most striking entry in New Crops from Old Fields consists solely of questions Muslims and Jews asked her in the Holy Land. The poem is a remarkable distillation of the sort of grace and charity a pilgrimage should foster: a diminution of the self, and the generosity of letting others speak. Throughout her poetry, Beal makes the medieval personal—a fox on the roadside reminds her of the Reynard of fable, and she writes in the voices of Caedmon and Dante—and her destination is the answer to an intimate question: ‘What shape does the shadow of my life form / when I take my stand in the light of God?'”

~ Jeff Sypeck, “We’ll find the speck of truth in each riddle …” (review of New Crops)

“Jane Beal captures the essence of the simultaneous distinction between, and union of, being a medievalist and a poet: “As a medievalist, I must translate older forms of English, French, and Latin . . . into modern English. As a lyric poet, I must translate emotion and the memory of experience from my heart to my reader. In both cases, translation is a key that opens new doors” (5). As both medieval scholars and poets, we are compelled to ‘carry across’ past times, memory, place, emotion, and experience to others. Beal’s poetry crosses over from the medieval languages and literary allusions that propel each piece to the more tangible and familiar human emotions that permeate her poetry and her medieval sources. Beal’s travels in the holy land are encapsulated in a poem made up entirely of questions—“Where are you from?” “Are you married?” “Have you been to Bethlehem?” “When will you return to Israel?”—not only relating her memories of moments of experience but also the reality of the collision of the ancient, the medieval, and the modern worlds, of the ordinary and the extraordinary that we encounter as we search for our truths. In one poem, her Speaker encounters a “far-walking pilgrim,” a “shadow-walker.” This elicits a reflection and a question: “What shape does the shadow of my life form / when I take my stand in the light of God?” A devout faith seems to resonate from and to guide her poetry as it did the poets of the medieval world whose work informs Beal’s own.”

~ Julie A. Chappell, Review in Medievally Speaking

Read Full Post »

Now available from Wipf and Stock,

JANE BEAL’s new poetry collection:

 Rising: Poems for America


“Poetry is memorable language, according to W. H. Auden. Rising is a work of such vividness that I kept thinking about the poems long after I closed the book. Jane Beal is a strong poet with a sharp eye for landscape, a deep sense of history, and an intimate way of writing her language that is never less than bracing. I admire her work, and I hope that readers make their way toward this fine collection.”

—Jay Parini,
author of The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems

“Jane Beal’s poems draw deeply upon the energies of earth and sky, bearing witness to the ways the life force manifests in birds nesting and flying, in women giving birth, in rivers and wind and song. Reaching across time and continental boundaries, they take the reader to quiet places of encounter with self and others and God. This is a collection to be entered and navigated slowly, accepting its invitation to slow down, see into others’ stories and take stock of one’s own longing for sacred gifts.”

—Marilyn McEntyre,
author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

Read Full Post »

for the Year


by Jane Beal

a collection of poems about birding and the spiritual life
in Uganda, California and the Philippine Islands

Read Full Post »

Poems in Integrité

(pp. 66-68)


Read Full Post »


The Jazz Bird
… listen to the music streaming at

 Jane Beal’s SoundCloud

1. The Beginning of Spring (1:56)
2. The Jazz Bird (4:33)
3. The Maker’s Art (instrumental) (3:04)
4. Transforming Mystery (3:40)
5. Mother’s Hummingbird (5:20)
6. Waiting for Saint Nicholas (3:57)
7. Brewer’s Blackbird (3:46)
8. Wings and Fingertips Meet (3:57)
9. Love-Song (instrumental) (4:17)
10. As I Wandered On (4:30)
11. Chitter-Cheep-Spee (3:36)
12. In Flight (2:45)
13. Sorrow’s Heart (piano solo) (5:00)
14. Haunting (4:15)
15. Dos Alas (instrumental) (4:19)
16. Love-Song (3:55)

Andrew Beal: vocals, alto, tenor, baritone, & C-melody saxophones, acoustic, electric and bass guitars, cello, piano, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, drum set, Geobones (hardwood tongue drum) and programming, mixing & engineering. Jane Beal: lyrics, vocals, flute, maracas, shakers, Geobones. Emma Carol: violin on “Waiting for Saint Nicholas.” Abraham Beal: watercolor cover image with cover design by Andrew Beal. Recorded at Firewater Phoenix Studios in California. Special thanks to God, Debbie & Gary. Produced by Rudy Holthuis and Jane Beal.

© 2014 Jane Beal – sanctuarypoet.net


p.s. For more, visit The Birdwatcher’s Diary.

Read Full Post »



Read Full Post »

Now available from Lulu Press:

Sunflower Songs

For Christ—

the light I follow across the sky

“For God is Light,
and there is no darkness in him.”

1 John 1:5b

Read Full Post »

In April, I had the chance to join Joy Curry on her morning show, “Joy in Morning!” on 88.1 WETN. We talked about National Poetry Month, bird-watching, and poetry. If you would like to hear the interview, click below!

Dr. Jane Beal (4-13-12 – Nat’l Poetry Month)

Read Full Post »

Now available from Lulu Press:


“The very title of Jane Beal’s latest collection, JAZZ BIRDING, has been hovering within my head, wings beating with its energy and insight and affirmation of the created world– what a pizzazz of words. “Jazz bird, the whole earth is listening!” an early poem declares, and the rest of the following ample collection of poems shows how the poet, too, listens. The seeing is precise, from the “barely-budded green leaves” just sticking out from the grey sky to a “fair fox chewing” in the tall grass. And the remembering and imagining are sharp–I think here of the poem about a friend’s father’s three hundred canaries, with their heart-expanding song, back in Cuba. What we have here, ultimately, from this medievalist-poet, is a Parliament of Fowls–cardinals, barn swallows, storm crows–various birds singing heavenly names, and the poet listening all the while. As she writes, “you make me / want to know who you are.” ~ Brett Foster, Professor of English at Wheaton College, Poet and Author of The Garbage Eater and Fall Run Road

“Message to bird-lovers: be sure to carry a field guide in one pocket and Jane Beal’s wonderful JAZZ BIRDING in the other—before even lifting binoculars, you’ll sight a mourning dove silhouetted against a Chicago sky, hear a raven preach, and meet a very lovely, freckled robin.  I’m going to keep a copy on hand for instant, inspired access to that other, winged world.” ~ Cynthia Kraman, Professor of English at the College of New Rochelle, Poet and Author of Taking on the Local Color and The Mexican Murals

To enjoy more about birds, visit THE BIRD-WATCHER’S DIARY ENTRIES

Read Full Post »

Now available from Lulu Press:


“With A Pure Heart, Jane Beal invites her readers into a world of vivid observations, lush images, poignant allusions, and stirring emotions. In this world, we are invited to embrace the beauties of nature, the mysteries of God, and the realities of human experience as we reflect on both the joy and the heartache that links our souls with the poet’s.”

~ Dr. Christine A. Colón, author of Singled Out and Joanna Baillie and the Art of Moral Influence.

“My love is everything,” Jane Beal writes in a stunning poem from her collection, A Pure Heart. The tender and vivid poems in this collection brim with joy for the gift of life and bring tears of recognition to anyone who has lost, at least for a time, one they love. To experience the world through Beal’s lyrical poetry is to grieve the profound tears of a motherless child and to know heaven’s steady touch in the fiery color of opals, an infant’s wail, and the bridal chamber. Beal’s poetic genius lies in the life she draws from biblical imagery and the bonds of profound affection, especially the marriage bond, as expression of divine love pouring itself out from above and from within.”

~ Dr. Jane Marie Pinzino, editor of The 1431 Trial of Joan of Arc (from the Orleans MS)

Read Full Post »


“Poetry is the language of the heart. In Jane Beal’s collection of beautiful birth-song poems, one’s heart is touched by the many emotions surrounding birth. The wide scope of literature from which the “songs” were drawn encompasses many religions and cultures of the world, giving them a spiritual appeal. Your own birth-song is sure to be found here.”

~ Cathy Daub, PT, founder of BirthWorks International and author of Birthing in the Spirit

 “I love it—Jane Beal’s Epiphany is awesome. Her poems “Birth Litany” and “Cradle of Life” are favorites!  I am also fascinated by “Moshe Drawn from the Water.” Jane is such an inspiration and wise woman!  I am honored to know her.”

~ Wendy Seifert, CCE(BWI), BirthWorks Educator

“Jane Beal has written a lovely collection of poems that will inspire anyone interested in the process of birth. She has taken birth stories … and turned them into works of art. ”

~ Vicki Penwell, CPM, founder of Mercy In Action

Read Full Post »

Wild Birdsong – now available from Lulu Press! 

“In her latest collection, Jane Beal employs Japanese forms to frame her distinctive American observations. From city to forest, the birdsongs she collects ring clear and resound deep in the reader. Her poems, plain speaking and uncluttered, speak directly of everyday experience, yet shimmer with the apprehension of the numinous. Like the birds she addresses in Mercy-Robins, Beal’s poems act as a bridge between the earthly and the spiritual, until even the apparently simple assertion that ‘Life goes on and on’ (Spring Promise) becomes more than comforting reassurance, taking on a celebratory expansiveness as large as the sky that surrounds her subjects.” ~ Oz Hardwick, author of The Illuminated Dreamer

“‘Hear me! Stones have a song inside.’ So says Jane Beal in the opening poem to her new collection.  In these poems, deft and restrained amalgams of prose and haiku, Beal shows her willingness over and over again to plunge—with an affecting compassion—into the heart of each small thing to discover the songs it contains. Here, seagulls bicker and snicker, here vireos choir. Birds become in Beal’s handling winged revelators, angelic confirmations of the immanence of glory in this wondrous, wild, and skittish world. Beal’s jubilant poems show her to be a true peregrine, circling wide-eyed into fresh knowing.” ~ Kim Johnson, poet & author of A Metaphorical God

“Dr. Jane Beal sees the grace and the fallen from grace. But, just as nature is pregnant with life, Jane Beal’s Wild Birdsong reminds us that many things in life are pregnant with meaning: sorrows, joys, delights. All are, for the seeing, sacramental.” ~ Dr. Jerry Root, author of The Soul of C.S. Lewis

Read Full Post »

In April, I had the opportunity to celebrate National Poetry Month with my friend Joy Curry, host of WETN 88.1’s ” Joy in the Morning” Radio Show.  You can now listen to the interview online. Enjoy!

On Butterflies, Transformation and National Poetry Month:

An Interview with Dr. Jane Beal

Read Full Post »

April is a beautiful time to celebrate poetry for life … and it’s National Poetry Month! So how can we enjoy it?

1) Read poetry this month. Read a poem-a-day! If you’re a poet, try writing a poem-a-day, too. It’s a worthy challenge!

2) Thursday, April 14th is Poem-in-your-Pocket day! Pocket your favorite poem and then share it throughout the day with the people you know. For more ideas about how to share poetry on April 14th, check out: Poem in Your Pocket Day.

3) On Monday, April 18th, I’ll be talking with Joy Curry on her “Joy in the Morning” radio show on 88.1 WETN at 8:30 AM about National Poetry Month, Holy Week, and my new collection of poems, Butterflies. To listen to the live stream, link to WETN Wheaton College Radio. (To get a preview-through-review, you can listen to the 2010 and 2009 clips of Jane & Joy on the radio.)

*And you can visit Jane Beal at Lulu Press to preview and purchase poetry, in printed or eBook format, including the latest collection, Butterflies. Enjoy, enjoy! Happy National Poetry Month to you & yours!

Share the love, share the poetry

Read Full Post »

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to preach on Transfiguration Sunday at my church, Church of the Savior, in West Chicago. To listen to the sermon, just click on:


May the Lord bless your heart as we travel from Epiphany through Lent into Easter.

Read Full Post »

The illustrated children’s version of Magical Poems is now available from Lulu Press. To preview the poems written by Jane Beal and colorful drawings created by Paula MinGucci, check out:


May you and the children in your life richly enjoy this book!

“… like the wings
of the Golden Phoenix who rises now
from the ashes to the skies, from my heart
to the memory of generations!”

Jane Beal, PhD
from “Symbols of Queen Elizabeth’s Renaissance”
in Magical Poems (2010)

Read Full Post »

My new collection of sonnets about the wondrous life of wild birds is now in print! To explore my new interactive, multimedia website celebrating this book–to listen to recordings of the poems, learn more about birding, connect to other resources on birding and poetry about birds–please visit:


To purchase this new book and begin enjoying poetry about birds for yourself, either in e-book or hardcopy format, click: THE BIRD-WATCHER’S DIARY ENTRIES.


Read Full Post »

After kicking off National Poetry Month with a radio interview on the 88.1 WETN show “Joy in the Morning,” I’ve continued to celebrate poetry all month long.

I joined the Brotherhood of the Briar for a second time in April and recited a little bit of Emily Dickinson, the poem that begins, “Success is counted sweetest …” Later, I celebrated poetry with student poets at Wheaton College at the release parties for two publications, The Pub and Kodon. I was particularly delighted with the recent work of one of my former students, Peter Strand, who shared his poems “World Records” and “Avocado.” Peter’s talent first impressed me when I read “Los Que Saben Las Garífunas,” which I originally posted last summer – a sensual, beautiful poem! I also enjoyed listening to the music of Gabriel DiRicharde, whose lyrics are genuinely poetic, as can easily be discovered at his blog: “i am the outlaw.”

Yesterday, the last day of National Poetry Month, I gave a poetry reading and flute performance at the BGC Museum for, as Milton would say, “a fit audience though few.” I was delighted to be able to share poems from my forthcoming collection The Bird-Watcher’s Diary Entries as well as my in-progress collection Birth-Song. Some other poems I truly enjoyed sharing were … “Man Friday’s Girl” from Made in the Image, “Angels on Jacob’s Ladder,””Sea Turtle Song,” “Garden Hoses,” and “Bridge” from the newly expanded version of Love-Song, “The Horn of Amalthea, the Last Unicorn” from Magical Poems for Girls, and “Meditating at Nelson Cove: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA – 30 August 2009,” an experimental haiku sequence, which I published in Tidepools.

As I prepared the poems for the reading, I saw a theme emerging that related very closely to the fact that I am severely directionally challenged. For example, I set off to go to Sky Yoga Studio last Sunday. It is literally fifteen minutes from my house, but I’d never been there before. I made four wrong turns and arrived a half an hour later than I intended. Sigh. But that’s me. It seems, though, that this literal difficulty sometimes extends to the metaphoric journey of my life. Where am I going? Where have I been? Will I ever arrive at my desired destination? Where is the harbor of my life? I love to sail out to sea, but I also want to find my rest at home.

So several of the poems I chose related to this theme, and so did one of the songs I played with on flute, Rascal Flatts, “Broken Road.” It’s a beautiful song worth listening to if you haven’t heard it. Like so many love songs, it could easily be sung to a lover or to the Lover of our souls, which is comforting to me.

Although I originally intended to end my reading with “Song to the Mapmaker,” I forgot to read it! Fortunately, in the blogosphere, it’s possible to make certain changes in the record of events, so here is the poem from my collection, Sanctuary:


Even when I do not know where I am going, God knows. He knows the map of my heart because he drew it. He understands the map when I do not. He knows how to help me follow it even when I get lost. And most beautifully, he is walking with me on all the roads upon which he has set my foot.

Read Full Post »

What do lovers, poets, Christians, and fools all have in common? The 1st of April, of course! Yesterday started off National Poetry Month delightfully for everyone (as far as I can tell).

To celebrate, I joined my friend Joy Curry on her morning radio show, “Joy in the Morning,” at 88.1 WETN, to talk about poetry … and Easter … and love and bird-watching (no kidding!). I really enjoyed our conversation. To listen, just click:


Afterwards, I learned that my mother (who is probably my biggest fan – love you, Mommy!) was able to listen to the interview live on the internet in California while Facebook-chatting with a friend in Jordan (yes, the Middle East, right across the river from Israel) whom she persuaded to listen to “Joy in the Morning” online, too!

You never know how far your voice can reach.

In April, I’ll be writing a poem-a-day (as I did last year), and I invite all other poets out there reading posts at “The Poetry Place” to do the same. If you aren’t writing, I hope you’re reading poetry. Poetry can bring you joy!

And I am wishing you all joy during National Poetry Month.

Jane Beal

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »