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“Annie Stenzel writes with loving accuracy in a voice as strong and clear as her vision, reckoning our past with our present, the two colliding toward a future waiting beyond just the haze. Sensual, laced with wry wit, her writing shows us how the language of poetry and love will outlast us, speak for us even after the Japanese wisteria has overcome the shingled roof, smothering us with its beauty.”

~ Dorianne Laux, The Book of Men and What We Carry

The First Home Air After Absence

  • “In The First Home Air After Absence, the eye is attuned to the smallest wonders and the most encompassing mysteries. Formally inventive and with a keen ear for music, Stenzel’s gifts abound, and her poems turn with a deftness and delight in the matter of language. Mortality, solitude, science, spirituality: her subjects are those that bring us to our knees, and she exacts a precise tenderness toward the questions. With equal parts awe (To measure the dark I will use a piano—) and starkness (Scour the hope jar of its contents), she stitches a remarkable intimacy between poet and reader—Stranger, we might love each other suddenly / if we stopped with a shudder in the underwater—breathing a togetherness where one might have felt singularly alone. Here is the book you’ll want to keep close by, to shine its compassion, its rich music, and its wisdom.”

    ~ Jennifer K. Sweeney, Little Spells


    “With her signature blend of wit, curiosity, fierce intellect, humility, and wisdom, Annie Stenzel explores the in-betweens of the human psyche—between will and surrender, certainty and confusion, love and loss, relentless hope and bruised despair—because even an opaque landscape deserves exploration, and in the face of this desire I am unafraid. Read these poems once, then read them again out loud. They’re a salve for the heart and an amusement park for the ears.”

    ~ Cheryl Dumesnil, Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes

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