Pamela Hirschler

Pamela Hirschler’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Still: The Journal, The Heartland Review, The Pikeville Review, Talking River, and Kudzu. She has also been published in the anthologies Her Limestone Bones, This Wretched Vessel, and 50/50: Poems and Translations by Women over 50. Her work was included in the 2018-2019 Women of Appalachia Project reading series, and she was a 2018 finalist for The Heartland Review’s Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize. Hirschler holds a B.A. in English from Morehead State University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry from Drew University. She is past president and webmaster for the Kentucky State Poetry Society and a former board member of the Green River Writers. After a 20-year career in information technology, Pamela lives in Frankfort with her husband. For more information, visit her website at

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

Pam Gibbs Hirschler’s striking collection of poems fulfills Robert Creeley’s belief in the poem as “a kind of total seizure.” What Lies Beneath is a poetry of epiphanies, both devastating and edifying.

Hirschler’s work offers us fiercely lyrical, adroit examinations of our ontological plight, how we are possessed by the relentless past and haunted by our mortal condition.

Throughout this volume, a fully realized poetic mind is at work in a language of dark and delightful acrobatics—these poems are built on complex, polyvalent images: “…the moonbeam through your ribs,” “…the life rungs of ladders/ hung sideways on walls.” The reflective powers of these poems are released within multiple settings and landscapes, tightly private as well as expansive—the ocean, the river, a backyard or porch are rich and resonant backdrops for the searching voices of these poems.

What Lies Beneath invites us into the journey to the difficult and dangerous places of the human heart. Pam Hirschler’s poems release us into our own total blossoming through “…the stillness of a sycamore leaf/ a stick, a feather from the heron/ that shadows overhead.” This is a memorable collection, a book I will always keep within reach.

  • George Eklund (Poet, Translator, and Professor Emeritus of Morehead State University)