Carol Deering’s poems are exceedingly well made. They are lyrical, concise, and filled with memorable imagery. The poet herself is perceptive, humane, and eloquent. The publication of this collection is a welcome and noteworthy event. Here is a book that should be read many times over and deeply appreciated for its own sake.
—N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa writer of fiction, essays, and poetry, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of House Made of Dawn.
In her impressive debut collection, Havoc & Solace, Carol Deering celebrates the inland West. Ecstatic and luminous, her poems construct a “tracery of awe” in that intersection between the self and the natural world: sunrise and dew, the coyote and the meadowlark, lightning on the horizon and “little moons reflecting in our eyes.” Cognizant of the “brittle” world and the tenuousness of peace, these are poems of witness, wonder and revelation, poems that rejoice in the act of looking carefully and intensely until “all the senses ring.”
—James McKean earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’Workshop and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He is the author of three books of poetry: Headlong, Tree of Heaven, and We Are the Bus.
From poignant encounters with wild creatures to vivid evocations of Western landscapes and people, Carol makes magic with words.
—Lynne Bama, an award-winning poet and journalist, is the author of Yellowstone Rising.
We love her voice and think it’s an important one to share.
—The Crow Literary Journal, editor Joy Austin.
Havoc and Solace is an ode to place, Wyoming and the American West, where “[f]ences wear wild grapes and roses” and “[t]arpaper farmhouses / flap to the beat of a breeze.” Deering’s spaces are vast and intimate, sacred and inhabited by all manner of wildlife: deer, coyote, cattle, elk, bison, bear, mayflies, a spotted fawn, pronghorn, rabbits, rattlesnake, lizard, packrat, “lambs and wolf pups,” and so many birds! We feel Deering’s love for the land and her fear for its future. These highly condensed imagistic poems are utterly devoid of sentiment, cliché or any sense of straining to sound poetic. I so appreciate Deering’s rigorous restraint and complete absence of poetic self-consciousness! “Angle of Incidence” ends in a powerful but vulnerable place where “little birds on roadside stalks / rise and shiver to a mist / shying me to tears.” It takes a lot to earn an ending like that, but Deering pulls it off again and again in spare free-verse poems that, delicate and vital, feel like sculpted air.
—Rebecca Foust, Marin County Poet Laureate and author of Paradise Drive, winner of the Press 53 Award for Poetry.