"Connie Wanek . . . is superb, mature [and] a master of mood and language."--St. Paul Pioneer Press "No poet I know, with the exception of Jane Kenyon, is as able to discover the magic and depth in ordinary, day-to-day life and to artfully render that vision for the reader."--Louis Jenkins Connie Wanek's third book of poems,On Speaking Terms, is amusing, tender, and surprising. Herself a librarian in Duluth, Minnesota, Wanek's poems emerge from everyday objects--Scrabble, garlic, lipstick, hawkweed--and the landscapes, waterscapes, and severe winters of the upper Midwest. Readers will shove off in canoes, buckle on skis, set fishing nets in Lake Superior, and spend time in the real world of the imagination. Lit by startling metaphors, Wanek's work has been justly compared to Wislawa Szymborska's forits wry wit and spare "Eastern European" sensibility. . . . Afterwards it was Eve who made the first snowman, her second sin, and she laughed as she rolled up the wet white carpet and lifted the wee head into place. "And God causeth the sun to melt her labors, for He was a jealous God." Connie Wanek is the author of two books of poems. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where she is a public librarian and renovates old houses with her husband. Her poems have appeared in many journals, includingThe Atlantic Monthly andPoetry. In 2006 she was named a Witter Bynner Fellow in Poetry from the Library of Congress.
From this collection of wonderfully accessible poems, Garrison Keillor chose 'Monopoly' to read on the air (3/22/10). In twelve lines it captures the memory of a joy many of his listeners recall. Her poem, 'Scrabble,' uses just sixteen lines to encapsulate a current state of mind.
I found the book a delight to read. Sometimes wry, 'Pickles,' 'The Split' bring instant reaction. Others, dealing with family relationships, are moving and thought-provoking.
In 'O Little Town,' a hymn to Morgan Park, Minnesota, Wanek captures all aspects of a situation that has been the subject of a full length documentary film.
Human relationships, all aspects of nature, even a Proustian recollection(!) within seventy-eight pages . . . a book to treasure and share.