Hilberry’s collection of poems, Body Painting, was published by Red Hen Press in 2005. Her poems have appeared in The Women’s Review of Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, Hudson Review, Denver Quarterly, and many other magazines. She has also written a book of art criticism/biography titled The Erotic Art of Edgar Britton. Hilberry’s most recent work includes teaching creativity workshops for organizations and businesses. She teaches literature and creative writing at Colorado College and serves on the faculty of the Banff Centre’s Art of Executive Leadership program. Hilberry’s honors include a Colorado Council on the Arts Recognition Award for Poetry and a Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Research Award.
In Hilberry’s poems, the body is a canvas on which a whole range of experiences are painted: grief at the loss of a sister, the adolescent search for God, sexual passion, and ordinary pleasures such as swaying in a hammock, touching the astonishing warmth of a lover’s body, or watching a surfer rise “on the joy of a wave.” Crazy Jane, an alter-ego figure, makes appearances throughout Hilberry’s work, seducing a bear, sleeping in a priest’s bed, and generally transgressing social norms. Ultimately, the poet celebrates unconventional choices—to love both men and women, not to have children, to abandon the attempt to find God in church. She ends up loving the impermanent world and the mortal body, wanting only to touch “what’s returning to earth.”