Winner of the 2008 Colorado Prize for Poetry
Published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University
“Endi Bogue Hartigan's poems are enveloping: one is immersed in experiences of ice drifts, orange peels, and the striving toward a clarity (Let us be clear, one poem reiterates) that crystallizes and then evaporates. Subjects and objects are beautifully combined and confused through repetitions both musical and mysterious; each separate thing helps to form the existence of another. A reader is drawn into a process of thinking - a kind of sifting and sorting - ambitious for the large world that is always beyond one's grasp. One Sun Storm is not a mere collection, but a total project in which each poem is part of the whole. The passing by of the pieces of this created world engenders gratitude and awe."
- Martha Ronk, final judge and author of Vertigo, In a Landscape of Having to Repeat, and Why/Why Not
About the Author
Endi Bogue Hartigan's work has appeared in Chicago Review, Free Verse, Quarterly West, TinFish, Gulf Coast, New Orleans Review, Insurance, LVNG, The Antioch Review, Northwest Reveiw, as well as other magazines and an anthology. She cofounded and edited Spectaculem, a magazine devoted to long poems and series, for several years. A graduate of Reed College and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Hartigan has lived primarily on the West Coast and in Hawaii, and now works and lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and son.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book is wider than normal, as if the imaginative force of the poems plowed new space beyond the margins. The pieces build in mood and atmosphere as they scatter themselves over the page. These are also abstract poems that scratch at the edges of human tension, like someone feeling for a way out of a dark room. There are many kinds of abstraction - this is a bolder version, one that fluidly moves the reader into new spaces, where comprehension may or may not occur during the first reading of a piece. A line from the last poem, "Tiger Entries", does well to summarize so many of these attempts: "I was the air held in the conch shell while someone blew it through and out in order to hear what sounds like the sea". The poems grew on me the more I read, as if we developed a deeper relationship along the way. Hartigan does well to repeat certain lines over and over, which builds a powerful cadence while anchoring a poem to one thoughtful refrain. More movement is created with all sorts of rhyme schemes. The best movement is from bold, sweeping, dream-like visualizations. From "Tabor Diary": Let me not mirror but enact the mist over which the tree line skipped I'll call the mountain the edge of the world, the edge of the gold mountain A true story, he would not witness larks without a camera loaded The word I forgot that could compete with mountains draping all movement Too many edges to touch, the barbs of a fence But you are the same... This also shows how cleverly the author interjects common sayings - "A true story, he...". The yearning in the poem is for a more purposeful relationship between the author and a man, about how mundane pieces of news and also glorified beliefs get in the way of the tender, constant focus needed to sustain meaningful love. The only difficult part of the book is that is has a bit too much of an academic feel, too much of language in code. I felt about some of the abstract metaphors the way I do about the Spanish I learned in college - some of it I may never get. Not that we need to get everything, the poetry here is just that good. But our minds aren't easily set to enough specific situations. We don't learn much of anything about the author's life. On the whole, this book is savorable evidence of the power of imagination. It is bold, different and confident in seeking out sharper truths. It is the eye of the storm rather than the reporting of it.