“When she sings, when she thinks a sound is ready to come, she listens for hours waiting for it to gather slowly and sing to her. After the waiting in silence comes the singing, which she loves, figuring out which words sound truest and best. She loves how they fit into a line or a phrase. She loves their weight and all they assemble of thought or feeling, what they remind her of apart from what she has chosen to sing. She loves how and where they came from. She loves working out in lines their music, which is for her very securely based on the old fashioned metrics and what she learned before she grew up. She loves fitting everything together, and finding out what the sound is when at last it feels right. Whatever her songs mean in particular, they begin and end as celebration of the world – as if entrusted to her by life. Her music – her own and that of others – helps her to understand how things are for her and to live more peacably with what she has. Music is her prayer.”

James Mahlon Rosen

Augusta, Georgia, 1997