The Rattling Window (April 2013)
By Catherine StaplesISBN: 978-0-912592-96-1
Winner of the Robert McGovern Publication Prize
Praise for The Rattling Window by Catherine Staples:
Art and artists—including her beloved Wyeths—permeate Catherine Staples’s first collection as subject matter. But it is her own artistry, and her appreciation of the art of the ordinary, that is its hallmark. With their memorable images, plain speech, even Frostian tones, some of these poems have the sheen of parables being as they are, as in her account of Clark’s field, the result of thought and ‘second thought.’ Lessons are earned, learned and recorded. “The way seals ride an incline...you know they’re dreaming the sea.” She gives us “a morning where everything goes on / as before, but nothing’s the same”….I have admired Staples’s work a dozen years or more. More than that, I’ve trusted it fully. She is one of the good.
- Peter Fallon
The Rattling Window is a masterful merging of poetic and artistic sensibilities….Like Wyeth, Staples creates astonishing portraits of people and places that are simultaneously meditative and revelatory. Windows themselves, these poems traffic in the language of thresholds, boundaries, and borders, perpetually limning those strange spaces between the natural and the spiritual, the physical and the emotional.
- Dean Rader
The poems in The Rattling Window reveal an imagination caught up in the wondrous ordinariness of simply being, knowing how complicated in fact such simplicity is. Staples manages this magic by the quality of her attention, the articulate, luminous sympathy she brings to whatever her eye takes in. Whether it’s a seashore, a field in winter, the “whiplong honeycomb casing of a snake,” or the astonishing, unforgettable thereness of a horse, it’s all illuminated by this poet’s “bright lines of light.” She speaks of “unearthly singing—just the wind in the ear of a whelk.” Of such singing—bringing the ordinary and the amazing into illuminating alignment—are these poems made.
- Eamon Grennan
Lush and lyrical, anchored and soaring, Catherine Staples’s debut poetry collection, The Rattling Window, which won Ashland Poetry Press’s Robert McGovern Publication Prize, moves readers deftly between worlds: the living and the dead, earthly life and the afterlife, dreams and wakefulness, the past and present, internal and external, as well as the more terrestrial geographies of ocean and field.
- Catherine Prescott
About the Author
Catherine Staples grew up in Dover, Massachusetts, spending summers in Virginia and on Cape Cod. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, Commonweal, Third Coast, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Southern Poetry Review, Rattle, Prime Number, Quarterly West, and other magazines. Her chapbook Never a Note Forfeit (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011) won the Keystone Prize. She teaches in the Honors program at Villanova University and lives with her family in Devon, Pennsylvania.
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