The Book of Crooked Prayer
Finishing Line Press, 2020
Honorable Mention, Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition, National Organization of State Poetry Societies, 2017
The Book of Crooked Prayer is a book of poems about the sacred nature of everyday life--marriage, parenthood, farm kitchens, fraught relationships. It's a book of prayers, pleas, gratitude, and grace.
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about The Book of Crooked Prayer:
from Christine Stewart-Nuñez, South Dakota Poet Laureate and author of several books of poetry, including the latest, The Poet & the Architect
Marcella Remund’s The Book of Crooked Prayer is the lovechild of Walt Whitman and Anne Waldman, the poetic offspring of Allen Ginsberg and Gwendolyn Brooks. These are American poems, heartland poems, full-of-love-and-grief-for-the-world poems. In lines so musical they’ll make you want to sing, Remund breaks it open and breaks it down. She brings us wings, bones, clay, and light; she moves us from birth to death and beyond. These poems grip, sting, and slice; these poems hush, inhale, and salve. This book isn’t about you, but you’ll trace yourself in its words.
from Jeanne Emmons, author of several books of poetry, including the latest, The Red Canoe
From St. Frances Gumm (Judy Garland) to St. Joan of Arc, Marcella Remund’s The Book of Crooked Prayer chants a litany of traditional and uncanonized Saints, braiding her fierce prayers and petitions with portrayals of contemporary life, the achingly beautiful natural world, and the dark longings and longsuffering of women in their prairie kitchens. Throughout, we are made aware of the thin membrane between the sacred and the profane (“my heart pours out, holiness/ spilling down a storm drain”). The ordinary is always erupting into a realm of light and vice versa, just as wings seem on the verge of piercing through the shoulder skin in the poem “Angel.” Even as Remund challenges and questions traditional faith and gazes unflinchingly at the brokenness of our world, these poems, infused with the “certainty that we have been bathed/ in love since the beginning,” continually bear witness to the “radiant center” at the heart of things.
from Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of several books of poetry, including the latest, Tsunami vs. the Fukushima 50
Marcella Remund’s The Book of Crooked Prayer is a powerful canticle that sings its heady songs in a gorgeous, comet-silvery voice of the cosmos. At the same time, these poems all have feet firmly planted in the humble and quotidian details of everyday labor, in a practical distrust of the hegemonies and misogynies of dogma, and in the alternately frozen, fallow, and fertile ground of the South Dakota prairies. These poems are prayers of supplication, illumination, and desperation that celebrate both the small and immense beauties of living, while simultaneously grieving its profound losses and evanescence. This is a book of glorious imagery, profound compassion, and rueful wit, and you will be transformed by its unflinching and gracious spirit.
The Sea is My Ugly Twin
Finishing Line Press, 2018
The Sea is My Ugly Twin explores water--as a medium of transformation, an elemental spirit, as the cradle of life, as a fascination and necessity for those who are "landlocked."
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Finger Bones & Other Relics
Three Graces Press, 2008
Out of print. Signed copies available for $10 from me. Send request in message section of "Contact."