Why do I love this book? … Let me count the ways.
I’m hooked first of all by Dragland’s honesty. When he moved to Newfoundland, he says, he brought an ignorance as big as all outdoors. And I relish his openness, his patient noodling as he explores the artistic riches of his new home – while not ignoring its legacy of pride, shame, defiance. Finally, when he hunkers down with specific books, I’m riveted by what he finds: the sheer quality of the Newfoundland flowering. Stan Dragland is our finest reader/critic, and Strangers and Others celebrates work that can stand with notable achievements from anywhere.
What’s not to love?
Maureen Hynes writes like a painter paints — with a vivid sensuality, attuned to the eye as well as the ear. She is a poet curious about the use of things. Roaming through faith traditions, through Andalucian streets, she chronicles things lost — letters unsent, pianos no longer played, the body injured — and gestures toward recovery, if not in fact, then in poetry. A wise and humanistic scholar, she studies the flaw inherent in the materials, be they stone or wool or flesh, that makes them what they are, and through this lens, illuminates the absurdity of human hubris. . .[T]hese gorgeous poems, lush as van Gogh, detailed as the Dutch masters, offer up their own rich and nuanced redemption.
— Rachel Rose