Memories of Green (Finishing Line Press, 2017)
Erin Ganaway gives us a world seen through the dual lens of grief and praise. She sees this world clearly, and she renders it in textured language that compels us to feel the words as we understand them. This is the work of the poet. In this moving collection, Ganaway has done that work well.
Erin Ganaway’s poems are as emotionally deep as they are clear-cut and precise at the surface. The elegiac poems of Memories of Green offer their readers an almanac of loss, an atlas of grief, and yet, in their close attention to the natural world (both inner and outer), a calendar of celebration. They condense the complex collateral damage surrounding a suicide, the memories and regrets and moments of providentially heightened awareness, into a poetry of pure presence.
–R. H. W. Dillard
Erin Ganaway‘s Memories of Green reflects a complex mind, both elegiac and celebratory, dark and illuminating. Ganaway is unafraid of subtle ornament: her words—particularly her verbs—compel the reader’s imagination into new territories, just as she illumines the depths of her own seasonal experience in a deeply imaginal and imaginative way. In Ganaway’s world, experience does not equal mere transcription, but the challenge of finding connective tissues that both freight and lighten human experience. Metaphors are always surprising, and aural imagery blooms beyond the page, as do other imageries, creating half-lives that allow her poems to reside in the mind long after they are read. You will “see in the hemlock the green hands of a compass, not the chalice of a philosopher’s end, but life embracing life” in this book, a beautiful addition to Ganaway’s growing body of poetry, a poetry I consider important to American letters.
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The Waiting Girl (Texas Review Press, 2013)
"Just as Melville’s Ishmael did when he was 'growing grim about the mouth,' with his 'hypos' getting out of hand, Erin Ganaway sets sail on an ocean of longing and melancholia and, in the poems of The Waiting Girl, with equally startling and inspiring results. In poems that are remarkable in their honesty, their clarity, and the depth of their feeling, she voyages through lost past, painful present, and fearsome future with the sure knowledge that 'It is never too late / to regain the place / that means everything.' What more could we ask?"
—R. H. W. Dillard
"In these precise poems, at once bold and vulnerable, Erin Ganaway takes us to the interior of the constructed, fragmented self of 'the waiting girl' through landscapes that envelop, tear, and would toss her out. In the action of tracing lineage and of seeing the sensory details of diverse settings, these poems enact uncertainty that the combinations alive in the speaker will finally make their own whole, and yet we are left with some confidence that this is so: '. . .through the froth / I can follow the sun’s porthole / to a lighter place, // surfacing, piercing through, / like the lone survivor.' The journey of these poems shimmers with wonder, a wonder to behold."
"Erin Ganaway’s The Waiting Girl is one of the freshest poetry collections I have read in a long time. Brimming with dynamic turns of phrase, rich imagery, and sophisticated honesty, Ganaway’s debut collection explores dichotomies of the visible landscapes she inhabits—Appalachian Georgia and Cape Cod, Massachusetts—and the bipolarities of inner, psychological landscapes. A significant new voice in contemporary poetry, Erin Ganaway stuns with both delicacy and subtle violence, poems of raw energy and meticulous craftsmanship. The Waiting Girl reveals a poet of genuine giftedness, one who will endure."
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Judson Mitcham (Editor), Michael David Murphy (Editor), Karen Paty (Editor)
The University of Georgia Press
Best New Poets 2012
Matthew Dickman (Editor), Jazzy Danziger (Series Editor)
The University of Virginia Press
The Southern Poetry Anthology V: Georgia
William Wright (Editor), Paul Ruffin (Editor)
Texas Review Press