Summary: The narrative poetry of Cheryl Denise gathers together her Canadian Mennonite roots, rural life and her attachment to the people and mountains of West Virginia. Her poetry is rich in concrete detail and many poems contain a storytelling quality. Subjects range from sheep farming to lusts and longings, biblical women, legs, old lovers and laundromats. Often humorous, she penetrates to the deep current of human relationship. Many people who dont read poetry find themselves drawn to Cheryls truthful, clear style. For samlpes, see "They'll" (read by Garrison Keillor on "Writer's Almanac"), "White Oak Park," "Mother God."
"Cheryl Denise knows grief and
laughterand that true poetry requires both. Her
lively, generous, just slightly impudent voice is a
welcome addition to Mennonite writing. "
"My people don't understand
your people, / but we'll feed you." says
Cheryl Denise in one of her delightful, plain-spoken
poems wrung from a Mennonite woman's experience. At best,
her work articulates ineffable truths in blunt terms,
human desire and spiritual longing infused with a love of
life that can't resist touching, tasting, and naming the
pleasures and pains of this world. But clarity alone
can't account for the turns these poems take, their
tender-hearted vision and frank faith.
"How often in adult life do we
hear an unspoiled voice? Here is one that is playful,
friendly, youthful, humble, wistful, gently ironic,
humorous, local, tender, irreverently reverent. And, adds
my no-nonsense wife Roma, Honest. Get us a
Market: Anyone open to
poetry that through high craft weaves story, imagery, and
inspiration from the concrete details of daily life,
mundane ritual, or personal experience.
They read bibles and think a lot
Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature. BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry.
© 2007 by Cascadia Publishing House