The House Was Quiet, But the Mind Was Anxious
In The House Was Quiet, But the Mind Was Anxious, Nancy Dafoe makes a palimpsestic variation with the title poem that both acknowledges and redresses one of Wallace Stevens' seminal poetic demarcations, thus signaling both her own adoption of purpose and a departure from such teacher - mentors. Dafoe's purpose here is a heart-felt, poignant, an unflinching reflection upon loss—indeed a series of losses that have caused her sensibility to uncouple from “progression. . . tempo and duration”—and in particular the loss of her son, an irreconcilable transition that has “opened the immeasurable” to her human dimensions. May these words and this vision hold lessons for us all.
Carolyne Wright, Blue Lynx Prize, American Book Award, Pushcart Prize, and author of Masquerade and This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems
Poets Diving in the Night
Dafoe explores the dark territories of loss, grief, and history with language as her light. A muscular lexicon and narratives that burst open with lyricism reclaim insight from chaos and reward readers with pearl-poems of wisdom and connection.
Gwynn O'Gara, Author of Snake Woman Poems and We Who Dream
In her latest collection Innermost Sea, Nancy Avery Dafoe embarks on a quest to apprehend the outer world’s intriguing dualities (“concrete and abstract,” “possibility and impossibility,” “natural and unnatural”) while at the same time plumbing the mind’s complex “innermost sea.” Guided by memory and buoyed by personal experience, Dafoe’s Innermost Sea extols twin lifelines: a reader’s enthrallment with literary works and a writer’s wild, storm-tossed act of making art. Stanza by stanza, Dafoe brings readers ever closer to what she is seeking, that “elusive beauty and truth just beyond reach.”
Jo Pitkin, author of Rendering
When Mine Canaries Stop Singing (due to be released in the Fall of 2023)
Nancy Dafoe’s new work When Mine Canaries Stop Singing is an important book. In poetry form, we hear the stark reality of our planet’s demise. A necessary question remains in our hearts after reading: What steps will we take to ensure that our blue sphere thrives?
Bobbie Dumas Panek
Cover art by Katie Turner
Cover Art at left and above by Katie Turner