Poems by Lynn M. Knapp
Giving Ground pulses with traffic and teems with life, leading us through tangled streets, intertwined lives. We find a place of overgrown gardens, alleys in bloom, pheasants in flight, rabbits, stray cats, and Spanish love songs, a place where the ordinary appears in an extraordinary light. With deft narrative strokes, Giving Ground reveals a place and its people, lives balanced on the shifting ground of language and culture. Like the place, Lynn Knapp’s poems are wry, real, and poignant.
About the Author
Lynn M. Knapp is a poet, memoirist, teacher, and musician. She lives in a hundred-year-old house and walks every day in one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest. The grit, grime, and unexpected beauty of the central city inspire her life and her writing. Her poetry has appeared in The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss (2014), Poeming Pigeons and The Lost River Review (2015). Her work also appears online at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington.
What They’re Saying…
Giving Ground inhabits a world of concrete and blossoms, margins where cultures meet and languages strive to make sense of one another. Author Lynn Knapp displays gentle humor and the heartfelt urge to understand, to cross the border of difference in a neighborhood of alleys, music, chain link fences, and “sunlit grass the morning after.”
– Linda Andrews,
Author of Escape of the Bird Women
Giving Ground is an invitation to be part of the neighborhood. In these narrative poems, Lynn Knapp observes the natural (flora & fauna) and human relationships happening around her. Accessible and engaging, these poems make us feel as if we are standing on the porch looking out into the small town where robins and finches forage together and a yard full of friends laugh. Walk down the path with the poet and meet the world taking place around you.
– Kelli Russell Agodon,
Author of Hourglass Museum & The Daily Poet
In Lynn Knapp’s new collection Giving Ground, myriad forms of life abound–animals, plants, flowers, and immigrants–transplants from Mexico. Vivid natural imagery becomes the backdrop for a unique set of characters who fight for survival, alternately shocking and amusing the reader. Yet there’s a rare tenderness apparent in this small-town world, a place where food, music, and language come from a foreign land but are assimilated without question, perhaps because there is never the luxury of a choice.
— Judith Skillman,
Author of Storm,
Winner of Eric Mathieu King Fund Award
In Giving Ground, Lynn Knapp explores the interstices of the controlled and the wild in her garden and her neighborhood. The nature trail near her house is bordered by railroad tracks and a highway, is populated by half-domestic rabbits, descendants of a runaway pet, and homeless campers. Knapp pulls weeds from her own garden and finds flowers blooming in an abandoned one, observes her neighbors from the vantage of windows, alleys, and the passage of time. We sense a desire to close those gaps between herself and those around her, to no longer be la gabacha in her neighborhood, but to pull her friends and neighbors–and their joys and traditions–into full citizenship in her world.
— Teri Zipf,
Author of Outside the School of Theology,
William Stafford Memorial Award in Poetry
Combining deft portraits of both past and current inhabitants with lyrical nature poems, Knapp reflects the demographic shifts that define American history. The house that a German great-grandpa built becomes a casa painted aqua blue. Now “pale pretenders” who shout “at their children in English … not the smooth, dulce syrup of Spanish” have arrived. The ground keeps giving way – and this sharp-eyed, talented poet captures that unchanging truth in a moving, finely-crafted collection.
— Carolyn Martin,
Author of The Way a Woman Knows