The Book of Crooked Prayer

Finishing Line Press, 2020

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about The Book of Crooked Prayer:

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.

–Christine Stewart-Nuñez, South Dakota Poet Laureate and author of Bluewords Greening and Untrussed


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.

–Jeanne Emmons, author of The Red Canoe


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.

–Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of tsunami vs. the Fukushima 50

The Sea is My Ugly Twin

Finishing Line Press, 2018

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poetry book mermaid sea

Finger Bones & Other Relics

Three Graces Press, 2008

Out of print. Signed copies available for $10 from Marcella. Send request in message section of "Contact."


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