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Into the Open: Poems New and Selected is both a compendium and compression of the best and most representative of Susan McCaslin's poetry over nearly five decades. In addition, it showcases new work. The explorations of Into the Open begin with McCaslin's intense early interest in mystical Christianity, but expand to include global wisdom traditions from cultures east and west. Her work does not advocate for a particular system of belief, but exemplifies the open-ended probings of an inquiring mind. A selection of her new work in a powerful sequence called Lineage takes up some of her earlier themes but pushes them into new arenas, addressing questions of how to age into elder-dom; how to take one's place with humility and gratitude in a world fraught with pain and loss; how to remain open to wonder. In the words of her editor Katerina Fretwell, "Selecting from Susan McCaslin's eighteen-book oeuvre Into the Open has been a pilgrimage through her poetic and spiritual evolution. Her visionary poetscapes conjure William Blake, Thomas Merton, Greco-Roman mythology, angels, the Canadian mystic Olga Park, John of Patmos, Teresa of Avila, Henry Vaughan, Lao Tzu, Han Shan, Mary Magdalene and other unitive mystics of many cultures, faiths and eras. Such diversity suggests the range and reach of McCaslin's work. Here is a poet at the peak of her powers."