The Women at the Well
by Grace Bauer
96 pages $20
Grace Bauer grew up in Northampton, PA, where she began
her relevant education at Our Lady of Hungary School.
She earned a B.A. from Temple University and an MFA
from the University of Massachusetts. She spent several
years in New Orleans. Bauer has published three other
collections: Where You've Seen Her, The House
Where I've Never Lived, and Field Guide to the
Ineffable: Poems on Marcel Duchamp.
Bauer has won an Academy of American Poets Prize,
the Irene Leache Poetry Prize, and an Individual Artists
Grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She
teaches creative writing at the University of Nebraska
"In The Women at the Well, Bauer sings out
of silent alternative stories of the Biblical women
she first encountered as a schoolgirl listening to the
nuns. Wry humor is only one element of Bauer's illuminating
re-vision as she inhabits her women in the longing,
sassiness, rebellion, compassion, wavering, and triumph.
She lets them like each other - Rachel and Leah reconcile
- and lets them relish their bodies. Mary complains
about never 'knowing pleasure.' She creates The Prodigal
Daughter who, like Woolf's Judith Shakespeare, experiences
a vastly different fate from her male counterpart's.
But unlike poor Judith, this daughter survives and bears
her own girl child. . .I had my favorites among Bauer's
women, and you will, too. Whoever they are, the Bible
will never be the same." - Carole Simmons Oles,
author of Night Watches: Inventions on the Life of