“To happen upon pockets of intense literary activity outside the university setting is to know that the written word is truly alive and well. Here is an example… In 1999, Gayle C. Heney founded The Write Group… This, the group’s first publication, includes poems by five women…
In “Poetry of Pain, Passion, Play,” Karen M. Kline evokes the memory of Anne Bradstreet… reminding us that the first bright light in American poetry was a woman from these parts.
These women… write poems that are rooted in place. Lois Sargent makes the point emphatically in “Anniversary Bouquet”: “to have fled [these] changing seasons” would be like “ask[ing] time to stop.”
The celebrated poet Mary Oliver has written that the poet’s work is “mostly standing still and learning to be / astonished.” Blair Gracie Woodman’s poem, “Puddle,” is a perfect example of the poet at work, being, and being astonished.
Heney’s accomplishment is to have brought these poets to light. I cannot help but read Barbara Prolman’s poem, “The Women,” as a celebration of the poets gathered here, “arranged like stately flowers in beautiful cut-glass vases that are illuminated by rays of sunshine.”
Alfred Nicol, editor, The Powow River Anthology
“The social networking dimension of poetry is ubiquitous in Japan, but in America it is a rare phenomenon. The writers of this collection have set the admirable goal for themselves to present a collection that uses a newly devised form known as “specular poetry.” …the discoveries they have made in their group’s exploration of form are worthy of attention, and the larger community should certainly take note.”
Mark Schorr, executive director, Robert Frost Foundation
“When I saw that the book is a collection from a group of poets, I feared that the poetry might be quite uneven in quality. Such was not the case. While some individual poems are the strongest, that is almost always the case in any book of poems. This book provides intelligent, aware, and engaged speakers. It gives much to think about in poems which are generally concise and well structured. It is a pleasure, also, to read a well edited text. Though the book is a work of five different poets, the repeated themes and forms tie the sections together, while the different voices provide a desirable variety. It was a good choice to begin the volume with Heney’s “I Write Poetry” and conclude with Sargent’s “Instructions.””
Judge’s commentary; Writer’s Digest 15th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards
“Five women members of The Write Group have come together in this anthology, an unusual feature of which is the showcasing of a new form, the ‘specular’, in which the second stanza is an inverted repetition of the first. I especially enjoyed the wry humor of Birth Pains by Lois Sargent, in which “Moans creased the surface of planets/Forming mountains and valleys.” Andrea Holland contributes the cover painting.”
John F. Haines, editor, Handshake, the Newsletter of the Eight Hand Gang, Cheshire, England