A mesmerizing collection from the US Poet Laureate whose work is “as intense and elliptical as [Emily] Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as [Robert] Frost” (J. D. McClatchy, American Poet).
In granting the prestigious Ruth Lilly Prize to Kay Ryan, Poetry magazine editor Christian Wiman wrote that “[she] can take any subject and make it her own. Her poems—which combine extreme concision and formal expertise with broad subjects and deep feeling—could never be mistaken for anyone else’s. Her work has the kind of singularity and sustained integrity that are very, very rare.”
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Kay Ryan’s poems are “Fabergé eggs, tiny, ingenious devices that inevitably conceal some hidden wonder.” The Niagara River is full of such hidden gems. Bafflingly effective, the poems in this collection seem too brief and blithe to pack so much wallop. Their singular music makes it clear why her poetry has been featured everywhere from the Sunday funnies to New York subways to plaques at the zoo to the pages of The New Yorker and The Paris Review (Salon).
“Empathic and wryly unforgiving of the human condition, the poems [in The Niagara River] are equal parts pith and punch. The effect is bracing.” —Publishers Weekly