Isabel Zuber was born and grew up in Boone, North Carolina, when it was a small town with few traffic problems. She graduated from Appalachian State University and received a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been a librarian, a small press publisher, a gardener, an inventive vegetarian cook, and a homemaker. She has served on the boards of the North Carolina Writers Network, the Salem College Center for Women Writers, and the Grassy Creek Neighborhood Alliance. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Poetry, The American Voice, The Small Farm, The Greensboro Review, The Arts Journal, Now and Then, Pembroke Magazine, The Laurel Review, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Sandhills Review, Cave Wall, and other magazines. She has published two collections of poetry, Oriflamb, which won the North Carolina Writers Network chapbook prize, and Winter’s Exile, poems for her father. Her novel Salt was published by Picador in 2002 and was given the First Novel Award from Virginia Commonwealth University that year. She has received a Forsyth County Arts Council grant and, in 2009, a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship.
PRISSY ARMFIELD Lives in Clemmons, North Carolina. She has a studio at home and in the Arts District of Winston-Salem. She is a sculptor of portrait busts and relief sculpture in clay and bronze. She is an artist also in oils and pastels. Her love of nature is expressed in her paintings. She has studied many years with artists in both fields.
“Using dark arts of incantation and understatement, Isabel Zuber makes poems that draw us into their spaces—allusive stories of Thens, Nows and Nevers, haunted by spirits of Always.”
— Sarah Lindsay, National Book Award Finalist and author of Twigs and Knucklebones
"Isabel Zuber's poems are like last night's dreams—familiar and mysterious. Like dreams, they are short and last forever. When I awake from them, I feel comforted."
— Emily Herring Wilson, author of Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence: Discovered Letters of a Southern Gardener
“Isabel Zuber’s poems weave their way quietly and sinuously into the reader’s ear and imagination. Their emotional landscape pulses with mystery mixed with a keen-eyed awareness of life’s seasons and the reverberations that ripple ceaselessly from that knowledge. As lace is a snare in ‘Craft,’ so are these poems, seducing us with their tapestry of language and image. Poem by poem, Red Lily weaves its spell, casts its web of womanly voice and experience.”
— Kathryn Stripling Byer, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and author of Coming to Rest: Poems
“Red Lily is a sinewy, pungent, world-knowing collection of poems that engrave themselves upon the memory as upon a granite slab. Isabel Zuber speaks here in a voice intimate and eloquent, her tone as grainy as a weathered oak board, yet fresh and tender as dogtooth violets. Her attention touches everything, including ‘stars distant and various / and most unnamed.’ These poems shall abide.”
— Fred Chappell, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and author of Shadow Box: Poems
by Isabel Zuber
8.5 x 5.5 paperback
Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
and the smell wakens them.
My children stagger
out of sleep and into my kitchen,
lured by fragrance, two loaves
fresh from the oven. Would they,
I wonder, rouse as well if
our house were burning down,
which, in a sense, it is.
Certainly something consumes
the life we had, means that now
dough must be kneaded at dusk,
set to rise after dark. But in this hour
by lamplight we bring out my mother’s
long black bread knife, honey, raspberry
jam, eat one whole loaf together,
fear held off with bread, hot milk.
We leave the crumbs for mice