Moving from the Eastern Seaboard to the Pacific Northwest, these poems enter and explore interior and exterior landscapes. Using direct speech, humor, and deft metaphors, Cecelia Hagen writes about the emotional terrain of experiences that are both savored and plundered, resisted and surrendered to. The wryness here is unmistakable, and cohabits with poignancy as if the barriers between those often opposed states of being had been somehow melted.
Publication date: October 1, 2011
Cecelia Hagen is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Fringe Living and Among Others. Her poems, essays, and reviews have been widely published and her work has won awards and residencies from Literary Arts, the AWP, the MacDowell Colony, Soapstone, Caldera, and Passager magazine. She teaches memoir and poetry writing in Eugene, Oregon.
Praise for Entering
“I love the clear, sensual music of Cecelia Hagen’s Entering, the strange and ruined beauty of this solitary poet’s landscapes, the bristled and voluptuous memories of growing up, each rough truth: the knife that ‘speaks to what it cuts’ (saying) ‘your turn.’”
-Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men
“Entering is an adult coming-of-age book. Cecelia Hagen’s perceptions are spot-on, giving us ‘the eye with its attentive hunger/ or the body’s appetite for flight.’ Even the humor is wise. In ‘I Want to Be a Man’ she becomes a dog under the porch wondering ‘what it’s like/ to be such a strange, unlikely thing/ as a woman.’ In clear, attentive language, this poet tells us.”
-Penelope Scambly Schott, author of Crow Mercies
“This collection casts many nets, and it casts them far and wide––reincarnations, daily rituals, sex, divorce, memory, parenthood, out-of-body travel. In these poems, chicken necks thrown into the Chesapeake, blue gloves worn during sex, the thrust and dudgeon of crows, and a grown woman bathing in her mother’s bathwater all occupy the same deeply felt territory. These are poems of experience, and they come from a body and a poet alive in the world, a woman who sees ‘...a vulgar beauty / I can’t help loving a little more than I want to.’”
-Michael McGriff, author of Dismantling the Hills
“Quietly audacious and finely tuned, Cecelia Hagen’s poems capture nature and humanity in all their seasons, all their wildness, all their tenderness. Entering is an exquisitely crafted book, breathtaking in its clarity.”
-Barbara Ras, author of The Last Skin