Miraculous Medal: A novel - Available for pre-order, released May 1, 2020 by Apprentice House Press
‘Hey,’ Father John heard one of the voices call again. He looked up. It was the brown-haired girl. ‘Ain’t you gonna come up? We could do somethin.’
In this sequel to Union Square, it is 1964 Baltimore, where Fr. John Martin has been haunted by those two questions every day for a dozen years. His god-brother, Jezriel Heath, walks all over the city in service of his faith, trying to make sense of the contemplative visions that have begun to visit him. John’s eight-year-old cousin Marnie, whose Catholic world is “too wonderful, too exciting,” is the champion of her best friend, Alice, who clings to Marnie as safety against her own hidden sorrows and traumas.
In this supernaturally charged world, Miraculous Medal looks within each character to reveal “the most important thing,” a world where faith is molded by violence and contentment, ignorance and compassion, blind cynicism and equally blind confidence. All four navigate in their adult or childish ways the temptations of suffering and salvation, and each faces a reckoning that accompanies that temptation.
Like Union Square, Miraculous Medal is a novel as rich in humor as it is unflinching in its telling of calamity and loss. It carries the reader to a moment in urban America and Catholic culture on the threshold of radical change, a community unfolding inside a tattered but still-miraculous parochial world.
Union Square - Published October 1, 2018, by Apprentice House
In the Union Square neighborhood of southwest Baltimore, 1952 marks the beginning of what will come to be known as The Great Decline. Grand three-story row houses, old money and stature frame the setting for descendants of European immigrants and slaves who exist side-by-side.
But in a community already marked by violence, alcoholism, and lurking poverty, young Irish boxer Paddy Dolan personifies the shadow that lies over much of a city where religious tensions, racial hatred, and sexual violence work to make monsters.
"Adrian Koesters shines as a brave new fiction talent in Union Square, a story that reverberates with rawness and truth-telling as a family confronts the darkness of its own secrets against the backdrop of the corruptions in their community."
-- Jonis Agee, author of The Bones of Paradise
Three Days with the Long Moon
"The long moon that Adrian Koesters invokes in her powerful second collection pulls at every best-laid intention and barely-contained desire. The abiding theme here is control and the allure of losing it. Constrained by a variety of forms, speaking through characters who wear the nun’s habit or the invisibility of middle age, these poems voice an insatiable hunger for the forbidden, the unavailable, the irretrievable. Koesters’ lines are tense and alive, as intimate as love letters. Three Days with the Long Moon is a thrilling read."
—Kathleen Flenniken, author of Famous and Plume
"What a book! Here are elegant poems that chew on and rock to the problems of human existence “in a world where even right things/go wrong,” and here is God, present but silent as “the men who crawl the back gates calling for her . . . because she is small and they are not,/because they are exposed and need a hand.”
— Hilda Raz, author of All Odd and Splendid
“This forceful collection searches for the ‘secret answer/that settles the question/how anyone survives’….With intelligence, humor, and depth, these poems simmer the beans for “that soup of memory and sustenance/...good enough to feed the world.”
— Peggy Shumaker, author of Toucan Nest
Healing Mysteries is a unique prayer book for persons who have lost their connection to prayer or the Spirit as a result of trauma, living with chronic illness, or other experiences of suffering. Using the prayer format of the Rosary, the reader is invited to meditate on three healing stories from the Gospel of Mark: the woman healed of a hemorrhage, the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida, and the raising of Jairus's daughter.