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A collection of poems and essays drawn from free-writes and monthly word lists, re-worked for publication. Reflects this womens group's unique perspective of the sometimes harsh realities of formative and local conditions distilled with courage and joy of life.
In a remote town up in the Idaho Panhandle, a group of six women, who call themselves the Sandpoint Monday Writers, have created a community of “word workers” for whom writing “connects their inner and outer landscapes.” Sandpointed shares an inviting selection of this group’s collected works of poetry and prose. Because the authors work in tandem and share prompts, certain images recur from writer to writer throughout this collection; readers will encounter crows, cats, porcupines, and gardens throughout, but they will also be introduced to six different perspectives on women’s stories, the paradoxes of the dichotomy between humanity and nature, and the presence of the profound in the domestic and mundane.

While these poets share certain objects and subjects, their work varies significantly in form and style, with Jackie Henrion’s surrealist, Beat-inspired verses taking on a poetic splatter, and Robens Napolitan’s subtle, soft poems, featuring lines like “I still finger words, turn them over [...] // taste them with the tip of my tongue” use deft metaphors to draw a connection between self and language. Meanwhile, Rhoda Sanford’s contributions include mainly stories about pioneering women ancestors and other figures in her lineage. With this amalgam of Idahoan voices, the collection establishes a profound regional identity rooted in matriarchal power and nature’s capacity to inspire awe.

In Sandpoint, residents are at the mercy of the landscape, which offers chaos and serenity in the same breath, but also a wordless sustenance and nothingness which all the authors draw upon as a muse, each in their distinct writing style. “If I am to be a multitude,” Henrion writes, “a truce must be embraced,” and it is a truce between humanity and nature made with poetry. Residents and visitors of Sandpoint will appreciate the attention to landscape, milieu, and the drift of mind and heart of the region, and the stirring expressions of love of northern Idaho.

Takeaway: This poetry anthology from Sandpoint, Idaho, explores women’s stories on nature, grief, and community.

Great for fans of: Claudia Rankine and Juliana Spahr’s American Women Poets in the 21st Century, Robert Mezey’s Poems of the American West.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-