We Bed Down into Water

Cloth Text – $39.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5187-1

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5186-4
Publication Date
January 2008
Page Count
96 pages
Trim Size
6.5 x 8.5

We Bed Down into Water


John Rybicki offers up an unafraid set of poems in this charged book of verse. We Bed Down Into Water is rich with imagery of family, love, illness, death, and, indeed, water, which seeps in throughout the pages: rivers, pools, rain, and tears. His moving stories, in both prose and verse, struggle to hang on to a vision of the world that can still allow benevolence, luck, and laughter. In this, the collection embodies a contradiction: it is a tender book of fury, a book of bleak hopefulness.

Rybicki's work is steeped in challenge: the biological and spiritual challenge posed by his beloved's recurrent cancer or the daily challenges of an adopted child who could be, all too easily, lost. He spins these phenomenal struggles into a lyrical book that offers hope and awakens the reader into a new way of seeing.

About the Author

John Rybicki is currently the Sandburg-Auden-Stein Poet-in-Residence at Olivet College. His published works include Yellow-Haired Girl with Spider and Traveling at High Speeds as well as poems in numerous anthologies and periodicals. 


"John Rybicki collects the ordinary elements of a work day, whether it's work at the tire shop or work at the desk 'cracking one sharp stone against a page until it sheds/the proper sparks . . .' These are the fruits of hard labor and love, a poet banging away until the beams are balanced, until life is balanced for one day against all the confusion and swirling called a life. It is love, after all, that begs this testimony, but it is devotion that allows it to flower into song."  --Sandra Cisneros, best-selling author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo

"I cannot, dare not, will not commit the crime of commenting on Rybicki's verses.  All I might do is cry with him, yet lack the courage to venture a feeling anywhere within the infernal precinct of this man's authenticity.  Song, song--he, Rybicki is singing."  --Gordon Lish

"John Rybicki has a hurricane heart, a hammer-heart, that is just waiting to unleash itself upon this perhaps undeserving world."  --Rick Bass