Archives for October, 2013
These sly, beautifully crafted poems inhabit and haunt the heart-land. Sandy Longhorn is a poet with the gifts of observation and imagination. An original voice with a knack for telling tales.
— Stuart Dischell, Backward Days, Dig Safe, Evenings & Avenues, Good Hope Road (Viking Press)
The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths is a stunning collection of poems. With her gift for startling images and precise music, Sandy Longhorn converts the normally peaceful vision of the prairie into a place that perpetually threatens to turn innocence into a cautionary tale. In these poems, young girls discover haunting consequences for “refusing to mind.” Disobedience transforms girls through underground language or the bright forgetfulness of poppies. In this landscape formed by elegy and glaciers, everything worshiped is dead or wounded, yet Longhorn’s imagination and lyricism resurrects these myths so you can “taste the light his body had foretold.”
— Traci Brimhall, Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton), selected by Carolyn Forché for the 2011 Barnard Women Poets Prize
The Garden of Persuasions speaks in a low voice you must quiet yourself to hear. “I have left some things out of this picture,” it says in one of the poems. Readers will find a quilt half-made, a broken bird, “pebbles that hold the last of the light” and
“a rhetoric of petals and leaves,” but no excess. Maura High knows how to leave things out: to say, and to say no more.
— Sarah Lindsay, Twigs and Knucklebones (Copper Canyon Press), Primate Behavior (National Book Award finalist)
This sheaf of poems is a dazzling tour de force. Maura High’s poems demand attention. To grasp the depth of these masterful lyrics, you must be as scrupulously alert as the author herself to the physical details of the universe; but you must also stay on high alert, in every last poem, to Maura High’s endings, which will snap you awake, as few poets can do, to all the joys and sorrows and mysteries of human experience.
— Sydney Lea, I Was Thinking of Beauty, Vermont Poet Laureate
Tough words from Edison Jennings on how to survive “the coming of claws and snapping teeth,” and how to reckon our course through “the plenty of loss.” No whine in this voice, no plead for succor–these hardhitting poems come from a man who insists with lyrical clarity that we live in concert with all that makes us quicken. The poem, “Old Bitch and Bone,” demonstrates this wisdom. “Crack the shaft,” he writes, “and fang the fat, gristle and marrow.”
— Julie Suk, Lie Down With Me: New and Selected Poems, The Dark Takes Aim (Autumn House)
Edison Jennings’s stately, courteous, richly meaningful lines carry their precious burdens lightly. Those burdens include the ultimate reckoning, and his clear vision of them is, like the North Star he describes in “Spherical Trepidation,” “glinting like a battered nail / from which the weight of heaven swings, / and nothing holds the nail in place / except the void it’s stuck in.” Jennings’s lines movingly evoke both the gravest realities and the pleasure of everyday exertions and emotions. These poems are an accomplishment that I treasure and to which I will return.
— Reginald Gibbons, Creatures of a Day (LSU Press), National Book Award finalist
These poems knock me flat.
— T.R. Hummer, Ephemeron, Southern Messenger Poets Series (LSU Press)
Edited by Roberta Beary and Lenard D. Moore, this collection highlights 14 haiku writers who chose their ‘best poems’, those they believed would last over time. The writers were selected in a vote by editors and other noted haiku writers as the premiere English language haiku poets. The 80 lb. Mohawk cover features original brushwork by Ron Moss. It is a limited edition publication, suitable for book collectors. $15 plus $3 postage
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