"In JUST OUTSIDE, Barbara Schmitz sings of earth and sky, home and travel, youth and dying, in poems that range widely with humor, sadness, and surrealism, and with an over-arching love for all life. She urges us to 'Become a strong/silent tree with/ swaying branches/ in life's sweet breeze.' In spite of her claim 'It is only a rehearsal/ fpr her life in the alternate universe,' Schmitz pays close attention to this one, in poems ascending firmly into the heart of joy."
-Twyla M. Hansen, former Nebraska State Poet
Incisive as lightning-the meaning of her Sufi name, Vajra-her questions and yearnings are our own, and she doesn't let God, her teacher, or herself off the hook.
Phil Wagner Editor of Iconoclast
Winner of 2005 Nebraska Center for the Book Poetry Award
“The poems in this book are about her parents’ aging and dying, but on a deeper level, they are also about seeking release from the body’s limits.” “. . . how we relate to the world around us, what are lives mean, what will happen when we die.”