By Vern Rutsala
This wonderful book of poetry, which was a 2005 National Book Award finalist, is filled with scintillating visions of life, home, work, and family expressed in accessible language through which the poet magnifies daily events into art. "The Moment's Equation" takes us through decades of America. There are evocative settings, memorable events; there are many roads to regard, many lives to consider. Each poem journeys to a destination. With a remarkable deftness and an unerring sense of direction, Vern Rutsala gets us there.
By Jerry Harp
How wonderful, after so many theme-driven books of poetry, to read a real collection, a book in which every poem casts its own shadow. Jerry Harp is a poet of astonishing range, and the obsessions of Gatherings emerge quietly in poems through wistful, unsettling images, in lines that are tautly metrical or spun far across the page, as if to see what they might gather.
By Scott Withiam
In these poems a man, an ordinary citizen, stumbles and plows through the days but doesn't come up empty-handed - he finds the irresistible, that electric spark of living nerve that doesn't stop glowing, even when it is found - as it often is - at the very heart of doubt and confusion. If you are in search of it, read on.
By Richard Jackson
In its range of control, in its rich, ruminating prosody, in its capacity to contain all that it imagines, and especially in its power to place the corruptions of the world against those of the heart, it represents a poetry of scale, in fine yet compelling excess, informed "indeed exalted" by intelligence, irony, vision.
By Kathryn Winograd
Kathryn Winograd's richly lyrical, beautifully descriptive first book of poems charts the passage of a woman caught in the very heart of life, participating in the rhythms of nature, eagerly holding onto what is passing and is past, desperately holding fast to what she most cherishes. Air into Breath is a splendid collection.
By Robert Lunday
In Robert Lunday's sharply rhythmic poems, the otherness of other people haunts the poet. Others, especially others of the opposite gender, are mysteries, and mystery is always rich with its allures and sorrows in these superb poems. In the dangerous and confusing world where "Whatever last night's love was/burns off like haze," the poet pronounces this benediction: "Blessed is he or she who runs the fastest."
By Corrinne Clegg Hales
Corrinne Clegg Hales' poems are biography of the most luminous kind. As we read them, we're in the presence of events and their inexhaustible implications, described in terms somehow both wickedly accurate and surpassingly generous. Separate Escapes works through lives as flawed and ravaged as they come, transforming knowledge to forgiveness. It is, quite simply, a beautiful book.
By Jan Lee Ande
Jan Ande's well-crafted poems are like a fresh mountain stream that springs from ancient sources. They are animated by a deep reverence for the world, by a sense of mystic awe, by a feeling of transcendental plenitude. They put us in the presence of great mysteries.
By Robert McGovern
Three words run through my mind repeatedly as I read Robert McGovern's Fool: Selected Poems - intelligence, sensitivity, compassion. This work withstands the tests of craft and life.
By Philip Brady
Brady offers a sojourner's panoramas and outstanding depth of field. The poems present themselves as majestic, audible, dangerous rivers with live banks... Weal, a word of contradictory geographies, ranging from common good to whiplash scar, rings here around a hundred years of world migrations. This is an unpredictable, demanding, strong book, each poem an exploration.
By David Ray
David Ray's poetry has always been radiant even though personal tragedy has suffused it.
By Wendy Battin
Wendy Battin's poems are the waking dreams of a physicist: elegant, pure, accurate as light. But hers is a human physics, in which the emotional dimension is as present as the intellectual. The language of Little Apocalypse is meditative and playful, while never abandoning the rigor of reason. Wendy Battin is a brilliant poet.