From CONNOTATIONS PRESS, NEW POEMS AND INTERVIEW on Soniat's newly manuscript:
Polishing the Glass Storm (LSU Press, 2022). Read article.
From V E R S E I M A G E on Soniat's newly manuscript:
Polishing the Glass Storm (LSU Press, 2022). Read review.
Soniat's latest work (2022)!
Praise for Polishing the Glass Storm
This is one of my favorite poetry books of the year. Soniat has an amazing, even astonishing way of perceiving; images and metaphors just spin out of her as if she was weaving a web. Her way with imagery is so original, and she marries the concrete with the abstract with enormous skill. It's this ability to handle or evoke abstract ideas, without ever being didactic, that is one of the great charms of this volume. She is a serious poet, much under-rated in the contemporary scene, but a poet's poet. I've been teaching in college and university since the mid-1980s, and have read many books of poetry. Many of them are dull in terms of their use of language, really just prose that tells what it means ahead of time, so only the brain dead could dream it was poetry. Not so with Swing Girl.
I am in awe of Katherine Soniat's latest collection, Polishing the Glass Storm. Her poetic energies and talents are many and fierce mystery, imagination, story, knowledge, music and wonder. Here, the narrator wings us through birth, fear, sorrow, loss (including the loss of her own twin at birth) as she says, 'in love as I am with absence' as generations unfold and fold, in image and story. Some of those stories are 'soft ones, with feathers at the bottom,' told 'with the island nature of the mind.' Others are so tactile and gripping, they were surely written with the narrator's bare knuckles or the bear's 'warm saliva,' leaving the reader 'freshly skinned and slick... .' This collection captivates, energizes and charms. I'll return to it again and again."--Dannye Romine Powell, author of In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver
-- Dannye Powell, Charlotte, NC
What does it mean to be human, to have infinite possibilities, to contain every creature you ever loved, to die, to have never existed, to change utterly from one breath to the next, and for it all to happen in a single moment, a moment that lasts forever? I love Katherine Soniat's willingness to live in the vastness of the questions of Gilgamesh, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Bardo Thodol, evolutionary biology and quantum physics--and to ground her work in the specifics of individual historical experience. Soniat has the audacity to create a mythic language for the soul's adventure that is utterly unguaranteed, adamantly open to the unknown: "Child, or whatever form of light you are, why point/to the bottom while the cranes fly high?" Polishing the Glass Storm is a new departure in American poetry, masterful and visionary.
-- D. Nurkse, New and Selected Poems, former poet laureate of Brooklyn, Human Right Activist
Katherine Soniat speaks like a mystic in her collection Polishing the Glass Storm. She travels a landscape of mythology and memory to explore the mystery of existence in 'thin places' where there is an overlap between the living and the dead. The prismatic poems of this sequence brush up against 'the intimacy of time' like 'bees in a crazed terrarium.' Soniat displays her mastery as a poet while introducing us to many selves in this marvelous collection of poems.
-- Alison Pelegrin, author of Our Lady of Bewilderment
The weathered grace of Katherine Soniat's Polishing the Glass Storm is full of erudition and lived experience rendered into a personal mythology. These poems are transfigured legends of the self, aware, wry, sometimes tragic and always graceful, always rendering the deep hunger to know, be known, to see through the looking glass of the apparent to the deeper structures of an unstable and glorious world.
-- David Lazar, Professor, Creative Writing, Columbia College Chicago