Genealogy Lesson for the Laity by Cathryn Shea

Genealogy Lesson for the Laity by Cathryn Shea

Genealogy Lesson for the Laity by Cathryn Shea

Cathryn Shea is the author of four chapbooks, including “Backpack Full of Leaves” (Cyberwit, 2019)

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Cathryn Shea is the author of four chapbooks, including “Backpack Full of Leaves” (Cyberwit, 2019)


Genealogy Lesson for the Laity Paperback – September 29, 2020 by Cathryn Shea  (Author) AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON USA

“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.” ~William Wordsworth

  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 110 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1950730522
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1950730520
  • Item Weight : 6.6 ounces
  • Dimensions : 6.69 x 0.23 x 9.61 inches
  • Publisher : Unsolicited Press (September 29, 2020)

Cathryn Shea, in her remarkable poetry collection, Genealogy Lesson for the Laity, reveals a rich variety of emotions that strike the reader with surprise and pleasure. Undoubtedly, the poet imparts charming and wondrous qualities in her poems, which show depths that will appeal to the mind and the imagination of so many readers. 

This book has been divided into five sections: The Long Vigil, Bones of Steel, Conjugation, Baffling Crime, and That Place That Isn’t There Anymore. These five sections are linked through a microscopic string associating one another firmly. 

The opening poems, “Advent People” and “Today’s Advisory” diffuse freshness and create a delightful ambience. The alluring and gratifying imagination the poet has used in both the poems takes the reader to a new world of positivity. Because the poems have been composed authentically by the heart, every leap seems real and prototypical.  

The serenity, the peace, and the ease which the poems contain in every line is magical in this collection. Shea’s poem “Epiphanies” depicts universal thoughts of uncertainty and skepticism which are common among the human experience.  


A bird would descend from 

heaven and chirp in my ear 

to confirm my choice of mate.

“Yes, this person is to be a good spouse.” 

In “Bone Density,” the poet urges and tries to convey a message that extra accessories must be released, otherwise the bone density test would surely compel or convince itself that humans are made up of steel. 

Bone Density

We must release our bracelets, 

slide rings off, 

unclasp watches, 

remove keys from pockets, 

or the bone density test will convince itself we’re made of steel. 

Moreover, “Naive Tips About Lightning for the People of Aleppo” seems to provide a bit of advice to the reader as well as empathy for people trying to escape war zones. “When you hear thunder, you’re within striking distance”; be alert, dear reader! Are we all refugees of a sort?

Calmness is the soul of Cathryn Shea’s poetry. These poems are full of sympathy, kindness, and human connection at every point. Her poems “Change of Life,” “At the Camp in French Guiana,” and “Genealogy Lesson for the Laity” (the title poem) radiate the spirit of humanity and a broad vision of life. Cathryn Shea can arouse a smile from a person who is in an egregious mood through her marvellous writings. I wish for this book to reach the highest benchmarks and that it may elate every reader. All the best!


Cathryn Shea is the author of four chapbooks, including “Backpack Full of Leaves” (Cyberwit, 2019), “Secrets Hidden in a Pear Tree” (dancing girl press, 2019), and “It’s Raining Lullabies” (dancing girl press, 2017). Her first full-length poetry book, “Genealogy Lesson for the Laity,” is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in September 2020. Cathryn’s poetry has been nominated for Sundress Publications Best of the Net and appears in Typehouse, Tar River Poetry, Gargoyle, Permafrost, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, and elsewhere. Cathryn is a fourth-generation northern Californian and lives with her husband in Fairfax, CA. She served as editor for Marin Poetry Center Anthology. See and @cathy_shea on Twitter.

-- Rochak Agarwal