Sometimes You Sense the Difference


“Sometimes You Sense the Difference” explores relation- ships both real and imagined (or dreamt). Donna Baier Stein relishes the challenge of stepping out of her body and into the space of perspective and witness; applying her keen observer’s eye to the differences in relation to others, to self, to the world around us all.”
—J.P. Dancing Bear, author of “Inner Cities of Gulls” and publisher of American Poetry Journal

“Sometimes You Sense the Difference,” a new collection of lyrical poems by Donna Baier Stein, introduces the reader to the compelling voice of a strong woman born of strong women who speaks plainly and movingly about what matters: family, legacy, and love in its many forms. These poems are grounded and spiritual, sounding the soil for signs, while facing hard questions with no easy answers. In other words, this is a book about courage and endurance, about honoring the past, embracing the present, and stepping fearlessly into the future.”
—Frances Richey, author of The Warrior: A Mother’s Story of a Son at War and The Burning Point (White Pine Press Poetry Award) 

“Future poets will be born, they will arise giving birth to a time when poets long dead, are read, remembered, and celebrated. Inspiring new acts of creation, crafting their own work into a new voice, a new language, and old wisdom. When one poet reads the work of another some inner inspiration of the poetic spirit, is always generated, in a calling forth of our creative imagination. An inner listening takes hold, an indwelling happens, a transformation begins to form, and a genesis of new voices originates.

Poetic forms and verses resound within us intimately, as a subtle memory of the spirit. In a single moment known now, or discovered later on, across decades, scores, and even centuries later, remembered, gathered up and embraced, treasured. The voice of the poet lives on, beyond time, not simply within a single moment of history or eternity.

So it is with these poems from poet and writer, Donna Baier Stein, in her newest collection of poetry titled, Sometimes You Sense the Difference. And we do, you know, sense the difference. We do begin to sense something new, a remembrance of the poet’s inner voice and spirit, a universal memory, even if it is only for the first time. We are drawn in by the power of her voice and images. The words you see becoming our own, intimate and immediate.”
—Review by Ron Starbuck at St. Julian Press

“Filled with the sensuous details of womanhood and Midwestern heritage, “Sometimes You Sense the Difference,” a new poetry chapbook by Donna Baier Stein, delights the reader with images that linger long after one has finished the collection. Silver cross-stitching needles dive, “pulling threads of stories behind;” tulips of petticoats swirl; Mama wears a “dream-embroidered bodice;” Great-grandmother’s spirit rises “warm, fragrant, formless as steam.” From these strong women, and from the solidity of flat plains, the poems gain a foundation upon which to explore the dream world, spirit, and the future. They are poems which remain grounded while at the same time exalting into the sublimity of lines such as these, the closing lines of the collection: “Imagine no distance between here and there. / The moment of the big bang, your life no bigger / Or less important than that.” These are poems to be read again and again as we wait impatiently for the next collection from this wise and gifted poet.”
—Melissa Studdard, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast