Poet, Mary Logue, and artist, Dodie Logue, are sisters. They grew up near Lake Elmo, Minnesota, in the country. Recently they realized they were both making work about trees; this book is the outcome of their pooled energies.
These beautifully made poems continue Logue's lyrical examinations begun with Discriminating Evidence, Settling, and Meticulous Attachment -- her three previous books of poetry, also published by Mid-List Press. In Discriminating Evidence we saw the poet letting go of the past. In Settling we witnessed the poet embracing the future without fear. In Meticulous Attachment we shared the poet's transcendent desire to live in the moment.
But during the last days of 2002, Logue admits she felt afraid. The world seemed unsettled, uncertain, and full of conflict. As the new year began, she resolved to write a poem a day as a way to regain her lost sense of control. Logue explains in her preface to Hand Work: "I believe that writing poems is doing good work that can change the nature of our world." Since 2003, she has carefully culled the poems she believes are "the better ones" -- her "good work" -- and offers them now as her fourth collection.
Midwest Booksellers' Choice Honor Book
Mary Logue's third collection of poetry continues the lyrical examinations of human relationships—with family, with place, with lovers and friends—that distinguished her first two collections.
Discriminating Evidence, Settling, and now Meticulous Attachment demonstrate what comes from living fully in the moment. Logue shows us how it's done—with full-voiced maturity and a generous, sympathetic humanity.
"These graceful and gently powerful poems, in a few stunning words, capture tiny moments in all of their incipient enormousness. They grab the yellow in goldenrod, cherish love, recognize aging, bow to loss and, with amazing calm, never lose sight of beauty. They keep death in mind, so as to 'always see beyond it to life.'"—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Mary Logue writes mysteries and memoir as well as poetry, always searching for the lessons in loss. And she offers to her readers (in a direct and eloquent style) what she has learned. A gifted storyteller, her attention is often focused on the beauty abiding within ambiguity. In Settling, we are treated to her poetic investigations of the world close to home—the relationships between sister and sister, parent and child, lover and beloved, woman and nature, heart and mind.”—The Midwest Book Review
“The poet draws a sustaining strength from what remains behind in body and in mind, from the relationships that remain intact, flourishing and flowering in the blush of human interaction. If it is the destiny of all who survive to grow old, she instructs us, then it is our obligation to do so responsibly and respectably, appreciating rather than fearing, glowing rather than decaying.” —Prairie Schooner
“These are the poems of a woman who has experienced first-hand how little is within our control. As such, they are meditations on fate-its violent and mysterious ways—and the moments of grace that emerge feel hard-won: authentic gifts passed on from poet to reader.”—Hungry Mind Review
“We share such redemptive epiphanies and agree with the poet when she says, "I know a slender secret: / truth has many sides." So does this book, this writer.”—Minnesota Women's Press
“The poems in this collection are well-crafted with language that is elegant, yet hits hard and is at once familiar and original. Personal and direct, a classy debut.”—The Corresponder
“This collection is remarkable in how the poems cohere and create a dramatic dialogue.”—NorthStone Review