WINNER OF THE 2021 Lena Shull Book Award from the NC Poetry Society!
Advance praise for VERNACULAR
From landscapes she knows intimately (the cornfields of Iowa, the mountains of Appalachia) and tasks that seem ordinary (tilling fields, baking bread, feeding chickens, casting for fish), Anne Maren-Hogan crafts breath-taking, luminous moments. Awe, grief, anger, tenderness—each adds to a sense of the sacred that Anne finds in quiet scenes, as when an anguished cow reacts to the dying of her calf, her deep cries “like the tolling of church bells,” or when the family gathers after a long day of chores, the setting sun “anointing the twelve of us with fire.”
—Catherine Reid, Falling into Place: An Intimate Geography of Home
Family, community, nature, and the land--these are the subjects of Anne Maren-Hogen’s Vernacular. As the title suggests, the language is informal, authentic, and so vivid that it seems less like you are reading about the subjects and more like you are experiencing them directly. The ordinary and the sublime exist side by side in these skillfully made poems, as when a routine walk to the mailbox includes a heroic effort to keep a newborn calf alive, or when the color of workaday, well-worn overalls are compared to “Cezanne’s sky.” This impressive book is both down-to-earth and highly accomplished.
—Eric Nelson, author of Some Wonder (2015) Terrestrials (2004), Eric teaches with UNCA Great Smokies Program.
In Vernacular, Anne Maren-Hogan takes us on a journey from generations of farmers into the rural mountains, and through the last days of life. These poems tackle the complexities of family, community, and aging with the poet’s eye for detail and her ear for language. “…I’m come to interrupt / silence, keep the dialogue going,” she writes. As the title suggests, the language is as plan-spoken, honest, and candid as the individuals revealed in these poems. “It is palpable, the strength here,” one poem declares. Indeed, the strength is palpable throughout this collection.
—Pat Riviere-Seel, author of When There Were Horses
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANNE MAREN-HOGAN writes and gardens in one of the oldest intentional communities in the country, dedicated to simplicity, sustainability, and consensus decision-making. Her childhood on an Iowa farm, which her family still farms, provides material for her poetry, as deep and rich as the black earth from which she comes.Anne began writing poetry after raising children and gives credit to her writing group for their edits and insight. Her first chapbook, The Farmer’s Wake, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her second chapbook, Laying the Past in the Light, published by Longleaf Press, looks at the mystery of death and resurgent power of landscape. Her manuscript, Vernacular, was chosen as the winner of the Lena M. Shull Poetry Book Contest by 2021North Carolina Poetry Society.
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