Advance Praise for AMBUSHING WATER by Danielle Hanson
Danielle Hanson must be the incarnation of Gaston Bachelard's ideal poet, a poet who acutely observes a world as she makes it new. With a vocabulary of images as diverse as slugs, animals, flowers, constellations and emotions, as well as startling situations, she brings us a surrealistic vision that also reads like a rational explanation. A poem titled "Eating His Dead Wife" gives us one side, a bird eating the reflection of a building gives us another. When she travels, her succinct, epigrammatic descriptions reveal more than most poets can in much longer poems: "The cobblestones were tense and / looking for crumbs. The sea / waiting to devour the sun," she says about Puerto Angel. This is an amazing first book, book I cherish, for every page I turn makes me see the world differently, astoundingly, reverently. It's a book that never ends.
--Richard Jackson, author of fourteen books of poems, including TRAVERSINGS, with Robert Vivian, OUT OF PLACE (Ben Franklin Award), and RESONANCE (Eric Hoffer Award).
Danielle Hanson's new book AMBUSHING WATER has a deliberate clarity that vibrates through her music and imagery like a crystal glass tapped gently with the bright butter knife. Danielle has always written the most original, provocative yet inevitable love poems. She is simply brilliant.
--Norman Dubie, international recipient of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize and author of twenty-eight collections of poetry, including THE QUOTATIONS OF BONE.
So often in this collection, the circumstance in a single poem offers an unlikely though compelling route into intimacy--"eating his dead wife's ashes / in his cereal every morning" for example--until the circumstances build to near breaking and the poems show themselves as a constant, valiant, smart struggle to keep the always-vulnerable speaker above water. So many new words are quietly and easily introduced to the world--earthfish, rainstars, mooncat, slugquistadores, sky-puddles--which seems appropriate in these efforts at finding new places to find purchase, new ways to hold on. The poems repeatedly find that new ground, and as readers we hold on just as firmly as the speaker every time.
--Alberto Rios, Arizona's first poet laureate and author of ten books and chapbooks of poetry, including A SMALL STORY ABOUT THE SKY, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.
AMBUSHING WATER is compelling in its restraint: lyricism is deepened and amplified in these often short, always indelible poems. Danielle Hanson writes of the mysteries of the natural world: "How laughable is the moon / as an equal sign." This interrogation of worlds, inner and outer, the self and the earth, gives this collection its transformative power and renders everything new and strange and beautiful.
--Paul Guest, author of four full-length poetry collections, including MY INDEX OF SLIGHTLY HORRIFYING KNOWLEDGE, and a memoir, ONE MORE THEORY ABOUT HAPPINESS.