Prompted by Happiness


Born out of the intention to write a poem a day for a year, Elizabeth Zetlin’s newest book Prompted by Happiness uses poems and prompts as jumping off points in the crafting of each poem included in this collection. Following the narrative of the year, the poems seem to ebb and flow the way the mind moves, never settling on one emotion directly. There is really no closure, just a guided meditation on the small moments of sorrow, joy, and happiness that make up a year. Deep, poignant, and timeless, Prompted by Happiness will bring the reader into a deeper understanding of themselves through Elizabeth’s quiet contemplations of mood and moment.



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Black Moss Editorial Team

This post is by the Black Moss Editorial Team. For more information about our team, go to About Us>Our Team on this site.

Prompted by Happiness is a chronicle of a year in the life of a voice who is working toward a more defined understanding of the world. In a complex but beautiful interweaving of Buddhism, perception and self-perception in the world around her, and with the wisdom and guidance of other poets who have undertaken similar journeys of person growth, Zetlin presents us with a moving account of a life that transcends time.

Bruce Meyer, author of Pressing Matter

A meditation on uncertainty and change, Liz Zetlin’s latest collec- tion of poetry captures the gifts and complications of a year in transition. Her flowing poems reveal a woman exploring her relationships with fam- ily, friends, place, her heritage, world events, and the practice of mindful- ness, as she comes to a time in her life where questions of what to keep and what to relinquish become increas- ingly salient. These poems flicker across the reader’s mind like sunlight and cloud-shadow on a windblown landscape, a reflection of the simulta- neity of both pleasure and sorrow in all our daily, ordinary lives.

Terry Burns, Owen Sound Poet Laureate (2013-2015) author, The Quality of Light


Elizabeth Zetlin, award-winning poet and filmmaker is the author of five previous poetry collections, including The Punctuation Field (Black Moss Press). She was Owen Sound’s inaugural poet laureate; co-founder/artistic director of the Words Aloud Spoken Word Festival; and first recipient of Owen Sound’s “Out- standing Individual in the Arts Award.

She’s co-producer/director of the climate change documentary Resilience: Transforming Our Community. Her current work focuses on the inter- sections of nature and human relationships in the face of climate change. Liz lives with her husband in Owen Sound and is a proud mother of two sons and grandmother of two teenagers and a seven-year old. Visit her at