About the Author

Dr. Alla Reneé Bozarth, poet and prose writer, therapist and Episcopal priest, was among the first eleven women ordained as Episcopal priests in 1974 in Philadelphia. Dr. Bozarth is author of numerous books, including Life is Goodbye/Life is Hello: Grieving Well through All Kinds of Loss, A Journey through Grief {Hazelden); The Book of Bliss, Accidental Wisdom, This is My Body~ Praying for Earth, Prayers from the Heart, Moving to the Edge of the World, This Mortal Marriage~ Poems of Love, Lament and Praise {iUniverse); Soulfire~Love Poems in Black and Gold (distributed by the author at bearblessings.com); Womanpriest: A Personal Odyssey (Paulist Press 1978, revised edition Luramedia 1988, distributed by bearblessings.com); Stars in Your Bones: Emerging Signposts on Our Spiritual Journeys: poems by Alla Bozarth, color paintings by Julia Barkley and commentary by Terri Hawthorne [currently out of print]; and her scholarly book, The Word’s Body (University of Alabama Press 1979, University Press of America, Rowman and Littlefield 1997). She has a doctor of philosophy degree in performing arts from Northwestern University and a certificate in Gestalt psychotherapy from the Gestalt Training Center of San Diego. She has over forty years of professional experience as a soul caregiver– soul-mending as a psychotherapist and soul-tending as a spiritual director. She has served as pastoral counselor, consultant and mentor for individuals and groups.

Now retired from public ministry and travel for reasons of health, Dr. Bozarth’s home and sanctuary incorporate Wisdom House in Sandy, Oregon, where she devotes herself to writing as a way of harvesting the fruit of a life richly fertile from experience and formal learning, plumbing the depths of the human condition, exploring the breadth of Creation from Earth’s smallest creatures to the vast regions of the stars. Her poems have been put to music, painted, danced and performed by other artists and are loved and used throughout the world.

About the Book

A diamond is borne up to the surface 

of Earth from unimaginable depths, 

bearing with it the whole astonishing

history of its creation. 

Your life is a chance to drink deep 

from the Source Well 

and take time to absorb 

every possible drop of meaning.


Your life is a chance 

to go down deep, deep 

to that sacred 

place where, in pitch 

darkness and under 

immense pressure, 

diamonds are born.

Book Reviews

"Diamonds in a Stony Field by Alla Renée Bozarth contains poems from 1982 to 2022.

The poems address historical events, literature, world-travels, and deeply personal experiences and perspectives with the underlying themes of loss and redemptive grace. In addition to her 40 years as a Gestalt therapist, she is one of the 15 Episcopal priests who cracked the stained glass ceiling in 1974 and 1975 by becoming the first ordained women deacons to be ordained to the priesthood, with the help of brave and conscientious male bishops. The poet understands prejudice from personal experience. But this book isn’t directly about that. Its scope is broader. From her own stories and those of people in all walks of life, Alla Renée Bozarth can speak of the process of making one’s way, with help from others, through seemingly impossible situations, including war, poverty, family rejection, natural disasters, long illness and chronic prejudice, even with recurring instances of violence. Her poems testify that grace, grit and endurance can lead to breakthrough. When people work together, institutions can also become transformed. Where hatred prevailed, justice and kindness can take over and grow. Exploring sharp, stony fields, we may discover diamonds. Sometimes boulders in the way can serve as leaning stones while we catch our breath or lie low for a time, and notice how smaller stones break open to reveal diamonds inside that can capture sunlight."
“You draw on waters of a well you have dug and filled, with a lifetime of spiritual reflections and observations about the cosmos and the human condition within the cosmos— emerging as truth, dressed up in the magnificent language of poetry. This is soul-talk. Thank you for finding distinctive images that touch us in so many remarkable ways."
Rolf Gompertz
author of My Jewish Brother Jesus.
“You truly live the gospel and cry it out with your life and your craft. Your writings, all that I’ve read, are like a stream of living water that flows deep from within your soul. Thank you so much!”
Brother Michael St. Jacques
“Alla Renée Bozarth, thank you for these poems and writings. Thank you for watching the world for us.”
Ruthanne Bullock
teacher, Welches, Oregon
“You are a precious link, the tuning fork! One of the Tuners, vibrating brilliantly here in a human form, expressing Love as well so others may trust your revelations in poetry, which frees the deep and heavy thoughts so they may flow. Enlightened— the perfect word! Thank you, Alla Renée Bozarth, your heart on fire always.”
Carol Grigg
artist, poet and singer
Addressing other readers: “I remember thinking while reading Alla’s poems about Hurricane Katrina, and again the poems about the women she clearly considers mentors and saints, that I was reading ‘poetry of record,’ just as The New York Times is the nation’s newspaper of record. She fleshes out the details most newscasters and historians leave out. Some poems were painful and despairing to read, some were uplifting and hopeful, but all are calls to examine one’s self and to re-evaluate one’s understanding of self, historical events, women, humanity. The title she chose for the collection is perfect. Some of the painful stones in the field are sharp-edged diamonds that are invaluable sources of hope and faith and love if we will only stop long enough to risk picking them up and then carry their lessons with us. I dare you to walk across the stony field and read them all. You'll be a more loving and compassionate resident of the planet by the time you're done.”
Peter Converse
transcendental meditation practitioner and end of life counselor.