Mary Ruefle manages to bring magnificent literary criticism into dialogue with insights about universal experience (fear, memory, sentimentality) in that way only a poet can. For anyone who is engaged in the poetry world, this collection will have you marking up or dog-earing just about every page. The way she says such simple things can strike so true that you wonder how no one else has said it that way to you before. For instance, about writing she says, “I used to think I wrote because there was something I wanted to say…but now I know I continue to write because I have not yet heard what I have been listening to.” I cannot recommend this collection enough; it’s one of those books I will return to over and over again.
Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle