"Melissa Kwasny's Earth Recitals is a profound meditation on vision as both a dimension of art and a spiritual practice. What is it to see? What is it to create an image? What is it to live in a way that opens the heart and the mind to vision? Kwasny explores these questions through lyrical responses to a range of artists and writers, from the anonymous makers of ancient rock paintings to Morris Graves, from H.D. to Leslie Marmon Silko, among many others. This beautifully written book expresses in every sentence the life of care and vision it does so much to illuminate."
-Robert Baker, author of The Extravagant
"Melissa Kwasny's poems are so exact in their movement and presentation, so fresh in their botanical and observatory language, they invoke for the reader, with aching clarity, what it would be like to be brave enough to touch both the inner and outer worlds simultaneously, and with identical honesty and care."
"Melissa Kwasny's work serves as a brilliant tonic, reminding us of the essential gravitas of poems of distinction. Hers present a richly textured surface and a deeply thoughtful interior, and have a compassion that deftly mingles the scholarly page with beauticians' hopes and tobacco pouches; a naturalist's tight focus with the wide gaze of a woman of the world; a lyricist's gifts with a philosopher's understandings. This is the real-deal stuff."
"These thirty-seven poems are eccentric in the true meaning of the word-off-center. Their titles, bearing the names of weeds, flowers, herbs, trees, are merely points of departure. 'How hard can it be,' the poet asks, 'to lie down in the green/mussed bed of the senses . . . in clover.' Whether it's clover or rue, aspen or moss, the reader is invited into that rich and rumpled bed."
"This book will be like having all one's favorite poets in one room, accompanied by a stunningly compact and comprehensive introduction which locates each in the luminously executed arc of the entire collection."
"We know what happened when the Shelleys gathered by candlelight one summer to tell ghost stories; now imagine the wind has blown the villa's doors open again to welcome 25 additional immortals-a brilliant congeries of poets' voices."