Memories of Green by Erin Ganaway
Erin Ganaway gives us a world seen through the dual lens of grief and praise. She sees this world clearly, and she renders it in textured language that compels us to feel the words as we understand them. This is the work of the poet. In this moving collection, Ganaway has done that work well.
Erin Ganaway’s poems are as emotionally deep as they are clear-cut and precise at the surface. The elegiac poems of Memories of Green offer their readers an almanac of loss, an atlas of grief, and yet, in their close attention to the natural world (both inner and outer), a calendar of celebration. They condense the complex collateral damage surrounding a suicide, the memories and regrets and moments of providentially heightened awareness, into a poetry of pure presence.
–R. H. W. Dillard
Erin Ganaway‘s Memories of Green reflects a complex mind, both elegiac and celebratory, dark and illuminating. Ganaway is unafraid of subtle ornament: her words—particularly her verbs—compel the reader’s imagination into new territories, just as she illumines the depths of her own seasonal experience in a deeply imaginal and imaginative way. In Ganaway’s world, experience does not equal mere transcription, but the challenge of finding connective tissues that both freight and lighten human experience. Metaphors are always surprising, and aural imagery blooms beyond the page, as do other imageries, creating half-lives that allow her poems to reside in the mind long after they are read. You will “see in the hemlock the green hands of a compass, not the chalice of a philosopher’s end, but life embracing life” in this book, a beautiful addition to Ganaway’s growing body of poetry, a poetry I consider important to American letters.