Today's poem is "Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa)"
from Longing Distance

Tupelo Press

Sarah Hannah received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She is currently completing her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia University's Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences. Her poems have appeared in Parnassus, The Southern Review, Pivot, Barrow Street, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, and other journals. She was awarded a Governor's Fellowship for residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts for summer 2001 and 2002. The original manuscript which became Longing Distance was a semi-finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 2002.

About Longing Distance:

"This is an extremely moving work. I'm struck by her intelligence of emotion, and her unmistakable voice. These poems are at once determined, vulnerable, and fierce; she looks it all straight in the eye. Shadow and lover beware: these poems will fix you. Sarah Hannah is a true original. I love this book."
—Annie Dillard

"The distance of longing, the proximity of oblivion: the motives that animate these poems are the contours of perception in a mortal coil. Sarah Hannah is a physiologist of sight, devoutest scribe to the almost-seen, the intimated world, even, or especially, as that world is about to be lost. She is also a worker of wonders. See how, in her hands, the sonnet becomes an instrument of twenty-first-century meditation. See how the fish in the marketplace 'in greens and ices swimming' suddenly brings to life again the 'river lined with briars.'"
—Linda Gregerson

"Sarah Hannah's poems are subtly alive to the many ways the natural world interpenetrates and informs and interprets human experience. But what impresses me most about them is their engagement with language itself—words and the forms they assume—as the link between us and the circumambient universe. Her work says something at once new and very old, and something we badly need to hear."
—James Olney

"Astronomy, Renaissance literature, mythology, music, a love of wit and verbal play combined with a passion for form and scholarship resonate in this lively collection of poems that marks Sarah Hannah's exciting debut. Whether she is negotiating Sapphics, syllabics, or sonnets, or contemplating 'the unperceived persistence/in the backward space of things...' her skills fall gracefully under her sure and delicate control. This is a stunning first book."
—Colette Inez

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