In Central Heating, Betty Scott embodies Henry James’s admonishment that the writer should be someone “on whom nothing is lost!” Nothing is too small or insignificant—a stalwart pansy poking through cement, a windshield-hugging lady bug (“So regal in her coat of black and red”) or too large (war, racism, ecological devastation, “our cruelties [that] breed disdain /for precious living things”) to escape her compassionate, questioning, ardent attention. As the title poem reminds us, the “sol[ution] for earth and self” lies within us.

Lisa Russ Spaar, Author of Orexia: Poems

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