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Surgeonfish, Poems by Ingrid Wendt: Winner of the 2004 Editions Prize

Journeys through the world, through history, through the heart: these are the travels undertaken by Ingrid Wendt in her new collection Surgeonfish. As always, Wendt’s ambitions and formal range are large, and her poems are equal to the task.

Sample Poems by Ingrid Wendt

“There is such a bounty of startling grace and wisdom in Ingrid Wendt’s new book, that the reader can only be stunned by, and grateful for, this abundance. One of her truest accomplishments here is how, with deft tongue and open heart, Wendt intuits and quietly rhapsodizes both the intricacies and the grandeur of the natural world. In her compelling twelve-part sequence, ‘Questions of Grace,’ the poet considers, via juxtaposition, the Sami culture’s consecration of their food, versus the Judeo-Christian tradition—and in so doing, she movingly argues for the sanctity of all living forms sprung from the earth. Throughout Surgeonfish, Wendt travels and investigates both inner and outer geographies, learning from the Italian ‘light baptizing the tongue,’ from the ‘meditations of snails,’ and from our human denials or destructive urges, that ‘Everything/matters terribly.’ Acutely observed and beautifully rendered, every poem in this magnificent and luminous collection unfolds yet another mystery or truth with great urgency and radiance.”—Maurya Simon

“Ingrid Wendt’s new book is gypsy music of the most adventurous kind. At times yearning, at times intense and joyful, at times grieving, these poems move from locale to locale—Oregon, Northern Europe, Italy, the Middle East—exploring and celebrating in clear language—the poet’s personal and spiritual roots, singing along the nexus where the human and the natural world kiss and collide.”—Robert Dana

Ingrid Wendt is the author of four books of poems, two anthologies, a book-length teaching guide, numerous articles and reviews, and more than 200 individual poems in such magazines and anthologies as Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Antioch Review, Northwest Review, Ms., and No More Masks! An Anthology of 20th Century American Women Poets. She has taught literature and poetry writing for more than 30 years at all educational levels, including the MFA program of Antioch University Los Angeles; at teacher-training institutes throughout the United States and in Germany; and in hundreds of public school classrooms, grades K-12, in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Illinois, Iowa, and overseas. Among her many honors are the Oregon Book Award, the 2003 Yellowglen Award from WordTech Editions, the Carolyn Kizer Award, several Pushcart nominations, and the D.H. Lawrence Award. Visit her website at www.ingridwendt.com or www.ncte.org/profdev/onsite/consultants/wendt.

ISBN 193345606X, 112 pages

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Also by Ingrid Wendt: The Angle of Sharpest Ascending