This fine gathering of poems shows Ingrid Wendt’s genius for bringing her readers into a world that becomes theirs. Finely crafted lyric narratives and meditations offer a host of small epiphanies arising from everyday life: turning points in relationships, insights into our troubled world, and coming to terms with loss. Wendt is a master of metaphor who turns the mundane into poems that heal. A classical musician by training, she makes poems sing.
In this collection Ingrid Wendt sounds the depths of everyday experience and sings the mysteries she finds stirring there, bearing witness to the things that matter most—love, spirit, memory, mortality, the ache and wonder of being alive. The poems of Evensong are the true testaments of an ongoing lifetime of cultivated attention. They are ambitious in the highest sense, “defining maybe / more than we know, what we are too busy living / to say.”
— John Daniel, author of The Far Corner and All Things Touched by Wind
“What is prayer if not these measures / in which the heart / can pour itself out, out, out?” and pour it does, in poem after powerful poem, with subjects ranging from the Bach Mass in B Minor to Titian’s Annunciation to Salmon Supreme cat food. Here are poems that are fully engaged in the news of the world, oil spills, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars (and their aftermath), yet there’s also “Benediction,” a poem so good it alone is reason enough to buy this book. Ingrid Wendt has “some words to toss in your direction,” and she throws them out like a lifeline.
—Barbara Crooker, author of Radiance, Line Dance, and More
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) online publication
Article by Ingrid Wendt
"The Unknown Good in Our Enemies: The Poetry of William Stafford and Poetry From the Middle East"
NCTE Poetry Consultant Ingrid Wendt describes the January, 2011, public event she organized, commemorating the poetry and pacifism of the late William Stafford (1914-1993). The article contains four Stafford poems, as well as poems from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, and Palestine, and offers an extensive list of recommended books, anthologies, websites, and films, for classroom use.
Winner of the 2004 Editions Prize. Wanderings through the world, through history, through the heart: these are the travels undertaken by Ingrid Wendt in her newest collection, Surgeonfish. As always, Wendt's ambitions and formal range are large, and her poems are equal to the task.
"Ingrid Wendt's new book is gypsy music of the most adventurous kind. At times yearning, at times intense and joyful, at times grieving, these poems move from locale to locale -- Oregon, Northern Europe, Italy, the Middle East -- exploring and celebrating in clear language -- the poet's personal and spiritual roots, singing along the nexus where the human and the natural world kiss and collide." -- Robert Dana
The Angle of Sharpest Ascending
Winner of the 2003 Yellowglen Award. A haunting suite of poetic sequences about the German dimension of World War II and the ways it touches our modern experience. These masterful poems -- a number of which take the form of artistic collaborations with visual artists -- touch on essential questions of memory, responsibility, and healing.
"The lyric power of these poems leaves the reader swimming with resonance, lost in the amphitheater between thought and image, identification and word. The poems capture vividly what it is to exist between languages, and yet in language. I read it in one draught, throbbed by its vigor." -Olga Broumas
Blow the Candle Out
Blow the Candle Out comprises two poetic sequences – "Learning the Mother Tongue," which first appeared in Prairie Schooner, and "Questions of Mercy," which first appeared in Nimrod International Journal – and explores what it means to have a German heritage in the United States.
"The universal meaning of ‘family’ merges with this particular family in these powerful poems, but they also engage the hard questions of guilt and innocence in World War II. I would say if you're buying one poetry collection this year, make it this one-you won't be sorry.
Singing the Mozart Requiem
Winner, Oregon Book Award for Poetry.
"An exploration of memory and desire, time and place, things lost and found again in the layered and linked worlds of art, nature, and family."
“To read this book is to be reminded that even though we and all those around us are most certainly an endangered species, our only salvation is... ‘to mourn/ and rejoice at once and for the same reason’.”
Moving the House
"Ingrid Wendt’s poems are eventful in a special way. The language holds the reader steady with a wide, clear gaze toward realizations about change in the conditions of the individual life. These realizations are not just announced. They are demonstrated through bold images that come around as if by magic to enforce what the poet sees."
Starting with Little Things: A Guide to Writing Poetry in the Classroom
Different from other writing texts, these 46 poetry activities invite writers of all ages to play with language and new ways of seeing the world, while discovering ways to use poetry’s basic elements and building blocks.
Just as painters learn to mix colors and learn about texture, shading and pattern, without the pressure to complete the whole painting right away, this book encourages experimentation in Free Association, Figurative Language, Rewriting Clichés, Musical Language, Patterns of Repetition, Varying Line Lengths, and other tools of the writer’s trade.
Fifteen short chapters begin with “model” poems by adult poets, suggest two or three writing activities based on elements in these models, and conclude with delightful student poems.
“I really like how accessible these exercises are for both teachers to teach and students to learn. ... Maybe we can all be poets after all.”
–-Gerri Davis, teacher
In Her Own Image: Women Working in the Arts (co-edited with Elaine Hedges)
In Her Own Image brings together the work of Western women artists, past and present, in a stunning array of forms: poetry, fiction, autobiography, essay, journal and letter writing, sculpture, painting, graphics, photography, ceramics, needlework, music, dance.
Through these selections, which include 57 illustrations, we learn about the unique experience of the woman artist, not as others have seen her, but from the viewpoint of women artists themselves, from diverse ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds.
The four sections – Household Work and Women’s Art, Obstacles and Challenges, Definitions and Discoveries, Women’s Art and Social Change – trace important relationships between women’s art and women’s social conditions.
From Here We Speak: An Anthology of Oregon Poetry (co-edited with Primus St. John)
The first Oregonians were also the first Oregon poets. Native American lullabies, songs, and incantations introduce this remarkable anthology of the best Oregon poetry. From Here We Speak gathers poets known and unknown, celebrated and forgotten. It traces the transition of Oregon poetry from a colonial literature to one that increasingly achieves regional and national recognition. The volume’s concluding section contains a broad sampling of contemporary poets and demonstrates the confident vitality of Oregon poetry today.
From Here We Speak is one of six volumes of the Oregon Literature Series, commissioned by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English and published by Oregon State University Press.