Chivas Sandage's poetry has a lyric precision and terse musicality that any poet would envy, a grace with cadence and image that makes it all look easy. That capacity is all the more remarkable when we consider that the poems are often formed from the most difficult of reckonings--from a troubled family history, from the challenges of motherhood, and from the bewildering intricacies of Eros. That mysterious and visceral power that Lorca called the Duende
is ever-present in the pages of this fine collection. As she writes in a poem titled "Ars Poetica," the written word is, for her, "Not an echo / but a force--bitter ink / pungent as blood. The pulse / of each letter quickens / as it presses against the page." --David Wojahn
In Hidden Drive,
Chivas Sandage presents an atlas of relationship--her troubled Vietnam War photographer father, grandmother, daughter, a marriage that ends--in a voice both lyrically keen and so deeply philosophical her poems stand as a needed corrective to the poetry of confessionalism. Sandage looks at loss, at woundedness, as a site where knowledge happens and art is made, "a space / abundance surrounds." The wisdom of Chivas Sandage's poems--their true knowledge of the heart--gives us not just beauty but our own lives back, transfigured. --Suzanne Paola
About the Author
Chivas Sandage was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and grew up in Houston, Texas. She earned a B.A. from Bennington College and an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has taught at Westfield State University and currently teaches creative writing workshops in Northampton, Massachusetts and Collinsville, Connecticut, where she lives with her wife and daughter.