Echoing William Carlos Williams, Annie Hinkle tells us, “All meaning in things,” and the things of this world, their colors and textures, flare up from her taut spare lines like brush fires. These poems celebrate not only language but music and art and the spaces they share. They have a lifetime of experience behind them and are wise enough to say more than they say. We should be grateful for writing as clean, unadorned, and honest as this.
–Steven Bauer, Daylight Savings
Annie Hinkle’s Composition Studies is a meditation and a celebration of beauty and the imagination, how they intersect and compel us to create and live with “our eyes open.” Through the poet’s lens we experience the joy and connections made reading a book, talking to a fellow writer, writing a poem, listening to a flute madrigal, walking in the Apennines “over smooth mounds of Carrara marble,” taking painting lessons, viewing Monet’s “Water Lilies,” and being nourished by gardens, an apple orchard, and memories. Hinkle’s poems vibrate with breathtaking imagery (“fireflies become stars / Braille for my heart”), intimacy, longing, wonder and gratitude. You’ll want to savor these poems with their deep reverence and unforgettable exhilaration for life and creating art, so that you too can imagine your heart “glazed in color,” your eyes “weeping words,” your “breasts dripping ink.”
–Karen George, Swim Your Way Back
It’s not hard to picture the young Annie Hinkle with her nose in a beloved book selected from her “volumes of stars/flowers/shells” or, for that matter, the present-day poet, her “silvered hair/on fire with moonlight” dreaming “of words/falling into the right places.” And thank goodness for Annie’s love of books and words as it has brought usComposition Studies, a loving and lovely ars poetica, alive with the music and images of the poet’s world both on and off the page. “Dear writer,” says Annie Hinkle, “I read your book//twice”. Composition Studies is a book to read time and again, finding with each reading new “buried treasure” to admire and to savor.
–Pauletta Hansel, Cincinnati’s Poet Laureate (or author of Tangle, Dos Madres Press)