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Praise for To the 4 a.m. Light
“Adrienne S. Wallner is a poetry force-field. Her poems are moving in the truest sense—physicality embodied in language that consistently speaks to the joys and griefs of being on earth. She is a Whitman poet in the sense that she is writing the one-life poem that radiates from her self in unpredictable directions, a poem that is grandly and sensitively inclusive. I don’t invoke Walt’s yawping name lightly. Adrienne S. Wallner is a genuine daughter, full of the real, intemperate, declarative, evocative, demonstrative stuff. This book is a pleasure from start to finish.”
—Baron Wormser, Poet and Teacher – Former Poet Laureate of Maine and Author of Songs from a Voice, The Road Washes out in Spring- A Poet’s Memoir of Living off the Grid, A Surge of Language and many others!
“I love the intuitive way the poems in Adrienne S. Wallner’s To the 4 a.m. Light move down each page, weaving in sharply observed moments from daily domestic life and the natural world. The poems in this wise book from a necessary new voice unfold jazz-like, as “sporadic solos/suddenly sprung/out of low melodies,” which assemble to make the kind of joyful noise we all desperately need right now in these challenging times.
—James Crews, Poet and Writing Coach – Editor of How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection and Author of Bluebird, Telling My Father, The Book of What Says
“To the 4 a.m. Light is a collection of poems driven by both grace and daring. Wallner is a careful and subversive observer of daily life, particularly the daily lives of women. There are wild swerves of imagination here, but also the clarity of thought that proves again and again how badly we need language that is both honest and fearless. I read poetry to be shown what is often hidden or simply missed. This book is a lantern.”
– Tim Seibles – Poet and Teacher – Former Poet Laureate of Virginia and Author of One Turn Around the Sun, Fast Animal, Buffalo Head Solos, Hurdy Gurdy and more!
“As a reader of poems for more than a half-century, one who no longer ‘gets’ a good portion of contemporary poetry, or who finds it too strident, or too self-indulgent, I felt truly heartened and inspired reading Adrienne Wallner’s To the 4 a.m. Light. Heartened because of Wallner’s unabashedly passionate intensity, her sensitivity toward and spiritual union with the natural world in its seasons, weathers, various terrains, and toward its human and non-human creatures, as well as in her deep engagement with art, music and language itself. In a world where “devices replace dreams” all too often, Wallner’s poems plunge the reader into her urgent journey, one that is socially, morally and spiritually motivated. Her perceptions, particularly those of the natural world, plus the resonant language in which she encodes them, are eerily beautiful and often mysterious. As she says in one poem, “Softly fingering the rosary of nature, it is here that I practice my religion.” Like Eve, who ‘no bone’ ‘bore’, Wallner declares “I walked into the world,/and I did not fall./I made an entrance.” To the 4 a.m. Light is quite an entrance for Wallner is an eighth generation, 21st century, descendent of Walt Whitman, one of those souls to whom he cast his spirit forward. She’s taken upon herself the task of singing a new song of these United States: Her Milwaukee is her Manhattan, her northern Wisconsin woods, the center of the cosmos. Here are poems of the darkest, coldest nights and the brightest, hottest days, of lakes, desert and forest, of love and solitude and of feeling at one with the wilderness and with all existence.”
– Gray Jacobik – Painter and Poet – Author of Eleanore, The Banquet, The Surface of Last Scattering, Brave Disguises and more!