Inscapes

“Like her exemplar Gerard Manley Hopkins – who coined the word ‘inscape’ to denote ‘individually distinctive beauty,’ the divine spark flaring up in every living thing – Tree Riesener reveals in these poems a world infused with light, where ‘our bodies shimmer as we walk,’ and the inevitable shattering that life deals out only makes our fragments shine the more.  In her inscapes, even scattered small change rings with richness; even the poignant mis-recognitions of dementia bear their weight of blessing; the Eucharist’s as neighborly – and as eye-opening – as a potluck dinner.  Within the mundane, the tragic, the horrific, Tree Riesener offers us a fresh vision of transcendence ‘zingy as a nonstop rubber ball.’”

 

--Nathalie Anderson, author of Crawler (the Mcgovern Prize) and Following Fred Astaire (theWashington Prize), Poet-In-Residence at the RosenbachMuseum and Library, Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Swarthmore College

 

“This is a book of mysteries: cosmic chartings, how desire wears many masks, and how light reveals the world to us, detail after detail.  Here is a poet with a brave eye and even a braver heart.”

 

--Rane Arroyo, author of The Portable Famine (John Ciardi Prize for Poetry), Pale Ramon, The Singing Shark, Columbus’s Orphan and The Naked Thief, Director of Creative Writing at the University of Toledo.

 

“Tree Riesener's poems are a force in the face of the difficulties of our twenty-first century.  A dark world presents itself, but there is a shimmering, too, as she sees it.  Immediacy is her method. Urgency is at the heart of her mix of the commonplace and mystical. She gets her wisdom, it appears. from prayer, relics, palimpsest, and the weather channel. Apocalypse is in the air, yet bread bakes, leaves and incense burn. Strangely, we are comforted. How bright are all things here, and compelling and delicate through Riesener's eyes.”

 

--Leonard Gontarek, author of Déjà Vu Diner, Zen for Beginners, Van Morrison Can’t Find His Feet, and St.Genevieve Watching Over Paris.

 

“Tree Riesener’s inscapes aims for duration, in the form of historical perspective (with poems that appeal to Herodotus and Praxilla of Sicyon) and in the form of sustained brevities (fossil fungus caught copulating for 35 million years).  But by its very title inscapes invokes Hopkins as its presiding spirit, and by extension the sacred as its obsession and torment, with the result (as in Hopkins) that joy and suffering are inseparable: we start with a declaration of one (“how bright are all things here”) and end with a declaration of the other (“listen we ate and drank god”).”

 

--H.L. Hix, author of Chromatic (Finalist, National Book Award), Shadows of Houses, Rational Numbers (T.S. Eliot Prize), Perfect Hell (Peregrine Smith Award),Director of the Creative Writing MFA Program at theUniversity of Wyoming