Wendy Ranan’s book is a healthy collection of fresh original verse. Wendy’s poems import meditative perspectives on the experience of women, making it of universal interest. These poems are sometimes shadowed by the questions of the individual navigating for safer waters.
This work shows the refinement of time spent studying the craft at The MacDowell Colony, The Millay Colony, and The Graduate Writing Department of Boston University. Through the support of fellowships and associations with known writers, Ranan’s work has culminated in a fine book that admirers call “poised, lyrical and musical.” Some poems in the collection have appeared in journals and reviews such as AGNI, Crazyhorse, Cutbank, and Verse, to name a few. The voice of this collection rolls off the tongue, murmurs landscapes of the heart and beaches of the mind. The four sections move seamlessly through retrospection on relationships, psychology, and reflections on a “dangerous contemporary world” with “careful vision” and “sensual language.”
From the back cover:
Wendy Ranan’s poems are strikingly original and moving in the way they deal with the difficult emotional landscapes of contemporary life. Although her subjects are sometimes dark, the luminosity of her writing makes them uplifting. Because her struggles are also ours, as we navigate the dangerous waters of our lives, through her lovely poems, we are enriched as human beings.
Poised, lyrical and musical in a time of diminishing sonic attentiveness to language, sharp-edged and keenly aware of ambiguity and elegance, Wendy Ranan sings “unheard melodies” and registers the true voice of a gifted lyric poet.
The Quiet Room is meditative in its concision and spareness. The soul steps forward and speaks. Arguments with the world are what make it distinctive; it’s not laden with a lot of the zeitgeist, nor is it the product of a school. I’m struck by the idiosyncrasy and candor in the work, its risk taking and transparency of style.
Wendy Ranan is a scrupulous maker of language; her elegant, clean lines and her sensual language are inseparable from her careful vision of the self in a dangerous contemporary world. She is one of the few poets now writing in America who uses her professional understanding of psychology in ways that are inventive and fresh, giving her poetry a unique dimension. The Quiet Room is a beautiful and powerful book.
Wendy Ranan works as a psychotherapist at a psychiatric hospital. Her poems have been published in numerous literary journals, as well as in a chapbook, Inside Out. She has been the recipient of The Edgar Allan Poe Award, The William Carlos Williams Award (JAMA) and The Robert Fitzgerald Award for Translation. She lives with her family in Cambridge, MA.
Published by Deerbrook Editions, The Quiet Room is now available from http://www.deerbrookeditions.com, amazon.com, and distributed by spdbooks.org (Small Press Distribution of CA).
Poetry. ISBN: 978-0-9828100-0-2; 6 x 9 paperback; 98 pages; $16.95.
(JAMA= Journal of The American Medical Association)