• Patterns

    Make 'Em and Break 'Em

    Edited by Robert F. Lawson and Carol S. Lawson
    Chrysalis Reader #19

    The nineteenth and final volume of the annual Chrysalis Reader anthology explores the patterns that shape and define our lives through poetry, essays, and short fiction. Read more

    Paperback, 272 pages

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    Paperback $15.95

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What are the patterns that define our lives? How do we create them? How do we know when it’s time to break them? How do we handle it when they’re broken for us? The twenty-eighth edition of the Chrysalis Reader series, which includes both the quarterly journal Chrysalis and the annual Chrysalis Reader anthology, explores all these questions through poetry, essays, and short fiction.

Among more than seventy entries in this volume are works from poet laureates, acclaimed authors, and up-and-coming voices alike. Patty Christiena Willis tells the story of a woman from a family of holistic healers who suddenly is unable to use her special gift. Michael Barber paints a poignant picture of a soldier’s return from Baghdad. Richard Lines steps back into the past to explore a debate among early followers of Swedenborg about whether or not to split from existing Christian churches to establish one of their own. Rounding out the volume are two Bailey Prize winners: Katherine Noble, a young poet whose work is already winning awards, and Kristin Troyer, whose essay moves between descriptions of being an actress in Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” and life as a university student dealing with her father’s illness.

About the Author

Robert F. Lawson’s poetry has appeared in Three Rivers Poetry Journal, Salt Lick, Plum Review, Phoenix, Negative Capability, Lullwater Review, Kalliope, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and others. He recently retired from Maine Public Broadcasting as the major gifts and planned giving officer. A co-editor for the Chrysalis Reader and former editor for Simon & Schuster, Lawson does freelance editing and writing consultation.


Carol S. Lawson holds a master’s degree in literature from Bennington College. Her long and varied career in publishing has included managing a medical journal for Harper & Row, publications and press work for the US Public Health Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the executive editor position at the American Birding Association.


“I’ve enjoyed this outstanding periodical for more than twenty years. Examining the spiritual dimension of patterns? What a brilliant concept!”

—Raymond Moody, M.D., Ph.D., international expert on death and dying; bestselling author of eleven books, including his seminal Life after Life


“Like a reflection of our divine connectedness, this lush final volume forms one great story arc.”

—Anne McGinley, short story and essay author, including the upcoming Holy Terr Teenager

“These are real-life people with real-life spiritual issues as described by Emanuel Swedenborg.”

—Mehmet Oz, M.D., director, Cardiovascular Institute, Columbia University Medical Center

“Among outer worlds evolving through billions of years into molecular nanopatterns, this wonderful edition testifies to its authors’ rich inner worlds!”

—Hans Loeschner, Ph.D., co-founder and vice president, IMS Nanofabrication AG, Vienna

“Repetition is a deep part of human nature. Patterns: Make’em and Break’em is a spiritual anthology of explorations in short fiction and poetry by a diversity of acclaimed authors, looking at patterns and how to find the innate divinity with, as applied to life’s many arts. Unique and inspiring,Patterns is a strong addition to spirituality and literature collections, not to be missed.”

—Wisconsin Bookwatch, March 2013

“This volume is packed with poems, stories, and essays that will give the reader much to consider.”

NewPages, October 2013

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