Madelon Sprengnether is Regents Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches in the MFA Program. She is the author of two memoirs, Rivers, Stories, Houses, Dreams, and Crying at the Movies; two collections of poetry, The Normal Heart, and The Angel of Duluth; a co-edited collection of women's travel writing, The House on Via Gombito; and numerous other works of feminist literary and psychoanalytic scholarship. The Normal Heart was a Minnesota Voices winner, and Crying at the Movies was a Minnesota Book Award finalist. In addition, she has received awards from the Bush Foundation, The Loft, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her memoir Great River Road: Memoir and Memory is forthcoming from New Rivers Press. For more information see her website: www.madelonsprengnether.com.
"Madelon Sprengnether's short prose poems surprise us with their quick turns and telegraphic insights, their physical bearing--what she calls "bodyworlds"--and spiritual poise. Near Solstice is a book of urgencies."--Edward Hirsch
"'If I only knew where we were going. I'd know how to end.' writes Madelon Sprengnether in her brilliant new book of prose poems, Near Solstice. Perhaps that is true, but it makes us the luckiest of readers that she doesn't know; that we are allowed to come along for this journey that is at moments harrowing, at moments joyful. A journey that is always approached in the spirit of an imaginative investigation that leaves the reader continually wanting more. What a deep pleasure this book is!"--Jim Moore, author of Underground: New and Selected Poems "'I can't stop seeing, ' one narrator proclaims in Madelon Sprengnether's delicious new collection. And doesn't that make us all lucky? In Near Solstice, Sprengnether maps the liminal--the ineffable gray spaces between dawn and full sunlight, between dusk and utter darkness, between health and illness, the body "becoming ever more itself over time." Like Eurydice, Sprengnether travels through dark underworlds in these searching and meditative poems. 'How physical this story, ' she writes. We are all 'layers of cells--in an unstable order.' In these poems, Sprengnether invites us into fuller habitation of the body, to notice the gold sky, to hear the urgent call of birds, to feel the proximity of death in order to be more fully alive. Do you feel the 'tongues of ravening dogs at your feet'? This book is a balm, a guide, a hedge, and a companion against the vagaries of mortality."--Debra Marquart, author of The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere "A fierce question propels the poems in Madelon Sprengnether's new book: 'So tell me. What on earth God wants from us?' Is it love, beauty, pleasure, duty? As Sprengnether explores that question, alert to life routines, rituals, sacrifices, even pilgrimages--driving, swimming, caring for an aging parent, exploring landscapes and ancient mythologies--her poems reveal striking layers of desire, grief, and tenderness."--Patricia Kirkpatrick, author of Odessa