Faith Shearin’s elegant skitterings manage to be at the same time well-crafted and spontaneous, unself-conscious and acute, so that the reader is drawn to her lively spirit. I can’t think of anyone else who would write “The past demands /that you wear a hat, that you /eat your dead aunt's casserole” and achieve our delight in her surprising truth.
— David R. Slavitt
In Faith Shearin’s fifth collection, Orpheus,Turning, the sixty-one free-verse lyrics are often drawn from the dynamics of an American family. They convey both hope and sorrow in moving ways, and in language that delights when it offers jolts like this possum, “his face a triangle/ of albino dislike.” The power of memory sometimes over-rules the ravages of time, too, when remembered details flesh out events. Ms. Shearin can also stand reality on its head, as when some passengers on the Titanic, still down there in the ship’s hull, carry on as though no disaster occurred, or when the family dog educates itself by watching TV. Add to this some historical characters like Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart, some figures like Orpheus and Eurydice and the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and Orpheus, Turning is a heart-made view of how we live
— Brendan Galvin
Faith Shearin gives us a study of turning points, instants where the world of the interior begins to swing back on a hinge of understanding or wonder. As we enter in that stillness, “listening to our low horn ask its one question,” we share in Orpheus's eagerness and his rue. A stirring and scissors-sharp collection.
— Jeremy Penna