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Reviews of Books by by Mary Adams (poems)

Commandment (2009)

Buy it at City Lights    

"I have read with great admiration and genuine enjoyment the poems in this chapbook....I will have to return to these poems now anad again to peer into their nectareous depths...Each poem is like Schrodinger's box that "contains all kittens till it's opened."
— Fred Chappell

Mary Adams’s poems are alive with prodigious skills, an uncompromising imagination, and hearts big enough to drive trucks through, or clouds.
—Thomas Lux

The bitter music of Mary Adam’s Commandment weaves through narratives and musings, loss and birds and hairdressers and a three-headed dog. Cats and dogs coexist in these poems, uneasily, much as “emptiness that thinks it is forever” coexists with “splinters of grace.”

— Sarah Lindsay

What makes Mary Adams such an exceptional poet is her ability to fuse formal elegance and profound sentiment. Few contemporary poets can match her combination of craft and feeling, which makes this new collection all the more welcome. She is a poet of the first rank.
— Ron Rash

Mary Adams has published her second book of poems, titled Commandment. The chapbook, in twenty-eight pages, displays her prodigious power of world-building.. . . It's as if Marc Chagall put a Van Gogh spin on his world."
Asheville Citizen-Times


Epistles from the Planet Photosynthesis (1999)

Buy it online at City Lights
Read reviews at Amazon.com

"Mary Adams' voice leaps out of these poems like a live wire. . . . Read Mary Adams for direct action, her ability to pour strong feelings into simple language." -- Charlotte Observer

"Mary Adams does what every good poet must: makes the familiar strange and melancholy and shot through with glints of joyousness, and brings the strange up close. There we can see the unexpected branchings of emotion even through the circuits of the computer and her longing for distant worlds. Technically skillful and marvelously attentive to the nearly invisible, Mary Adams is one of the most original poets I’ve read in a long time."— Rosellen Brown

"Mary Adams transmutes her precursors—Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery—into something rich and strange in this splendid first book of earthly displays and discoveries."— Edward Hirsch

"Adams plays within traditional form, not outside it. In her debut collection she experiments with sonnets, blank verse, sestinas and villanelles, and bounces graciously back and forth between expression and humor." - Foreword Magazine

"[S]urely one of the most intriguing of any poetry collection in the past several years. . . . poems that leave us wide awake and listening." - Asheville Citizen Times

"She has a command of language, waxing with words like 'trialogue' and '“rhinoceran.' And like the astronomer who searches for worlds beyond her own, these poems search for a place beyond earthly experience." - Smoky Mountain News

last updated 7-jan-10
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