“It is precisely Watson’s poetic willingness to be subverted, both emotionally and formally, that makes this collection so valuable. One finishes it with the impression of a fiery, intrepid voice turning and turning over the images and things of this world looking for hope and love, but always suspicious of both, and always suspicious of easy expression.” —Poet Lore
Ellen Doré Watson directs the Poetry Center at Smith College and serves as poetry editor for The Massachusetts Review. She is the author of four books of poems, including two from Alice James, We Live in Bodies and Ladder Music, winner of the New England/New York Award. Her most recent collection, This Sharpening, was published by Tupelo Press. Individual poems have appeared widely in literary journals, including The American Poetry Review, Tin House, and The New Yorker. She was named by Library Journal one of “24 Poets for the 21st Century.” Among her other honors are a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Grant, a Rona Jaffe Writers Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship. She has translated a dozen books from the Portuguese, including The Alphabet in the Park, the selected poems of Brazilian Adélia Prado (Wesleyan University Press).
“Ellen Watson writes ‘I can’t see but I quarry’: these new poems, like the inner and outer worlds she quarries and sees, are oftentimes strange, surprising, and wise.” —Jean Valentine
“Ellen Doré Watson has the wonderful ability to translate idea, emotion and her keen view of the world into verbal energy and rich patterns of sound. Her poems bang about on the page and are a great pleasure to read.” —Stephen Dobyns
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