In her second collection of poetry, Carolyn Martin is not afraid to ask the difficult questions and to tackle them with her intelligent wit, wrapping each in compassion.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
I love the intimacy, feistiness, smarts, and charm of Carolyn Martin’s second collection of poetry. She is a poet deeply invested in everyday holiness, in “cobwebs sighing on a wall” and “glory pouring over earth.” In love with mysteries brought down to earth, Martin knows what contemporary oracles are for; her often visionary gaze lets us see “what’s useful to know/when nothing’s just itself.” She handles the most difficult subjects – death, gender identity, love, families, war, and belief – with great compassion and clarity.
Author of My Multiverse,
Winner, 2014 Green Rose Prize
The Way a Woman Knows traverses the profane and the quotidian, as in “… slick with rabbit-splat the Kia/smeared in puddling rain …” and soars into the realm of the goddess and myth, revealed in the poem “Dancing with the Women in the Moon.” With a fresh eye, Carolyn Martin re-envisions old tales like Antigone and Ismene, David and Goliath. And in her masterful, heart-wrenching persona poem, “What’s Left to Burn,” this former nun dares to tell the truth about family and loss.
Author of Rending the Garment,
Recipient, 2002 Oregon Book Award in Poetry
Throughout Carolyn Martin’s vibrant new poetry collection, The Way a Woman Knows, we hear a rare voice, a voice of honesty and clarity. Not afraid to ask questions of love, history, memory, or God, Martin’s poems search out the difficult, vital answers. “But what’s true?” one poem inquires, as another asks the world, “What happened after that? … / And then what happened after that?” This is a book that gracefully opens its hands to the answers, both painful and humorous alike. Whether “releasing secrets / into dusk like enlightened fireflies” or asking directly to be surprised by God, Martin’s powerful poems tell us that we can live like this – in poetry, in love, in truth.
Author of Iron String, Airlie Press, 2013
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