"When political poetry succeeds, it usually does so through a broadly announced theme. McCarriston's . . . third collection, a rich amalgam of new work and a glorious smattering of poems from previous award-winning volumes, works in a more delicate fashion: through imagery . . . the merits and hazards of personal autonomy resound in poem after poem. . . . McCarriston's poetic gifts are many, the layered inversion of meaning ranking high among them. Provocative, finely wrought poems packing thematic punch with rare imagistic beauty."
"There is a clean quality to McCarriston's work that makes it seem like worked stone, as though everything unnecessary had been stripped away. Stripped and bare as they are, McCarriston's poems are also musical, with voices calling and answering to each other despite all obstacles. Despite palpable loss, this is ultimately a majestically hopeful book."
From the Back Cover
From lyric to narrative to bardic, Linda McCarriston's poems continue to probe not simply the encounters and relations that bring us joy and anguish but also the contexts in which we experience both. Exceptional among contemporary poets, McCarriston mobilizes feeling, thinking, and narrating simultaneously to create works of rich music, profound insight, and passion. With her characteristic honesty and energy, McCarriston draws from the lives of fellow human beings and from those of animals, too, the telling moments, metaphors, and myths of family life, social structures, and gender. Her recent experiences in Alaska come to represent, therefore, not so much an adventure as an emigration just as urgent as the previous generation's from County Down, Ireland.