It’s a Crooked Road, but Not Far, to the House of Flowers
by Wendy Erd
These poems crisscross the Pacific: from an elegy for a forest in Alaska to a magical wish for those living on the streets of Saigon. Time lives differently in this work. Poems layer details of the human and natural world with the heart tugging awareness of the ephemeral nature of all things. Within that tender beauty, these poems offer the possibility of transformation. An unfathomable radiance moves through us/ we are more of this world than we know, and less.
Enjoy a Video of Wendy Reading from the Book:
Wendy Erd — A Featured Poet on The Poetry Box LIVE (Jan 2024)
Early Praise for It’s a Crooked Road, but Not Far, to the House of Flowers:
“Beautiful, gorgeous book! Wendy Erd’s words have always had spirit-cleansing power. She abides in such intimate relation to everything, spruce trees of Alaska, porcupines, snow, a packet of morning-glory seeds, a Kunming grocery, a long loving relationship, inevitable aging – that her spare phrases and stanzas all feel like deep home. Each day could begin this way / with simple tools. These poems are exquisite compasses to live by.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Everything Comes Next: Collected & New Poems
“So many moments I had to look away toward the horizon and let a poem settle in my heart.”
—Kim Stafford, author of Singer Come from Afar
“The profound inversions of the senses in Wendy Erd’s poems drifting backwards, floating forwards guide us with deft reverence to see more of this world than we knew we knew.”
—Lady Borton, author of After Sorrow: An American Among the Vietnamese
About the Author:
For twenty years, Wendy Erd traveled between Alaska and Asia supporting indigenous and seldom heard communities to voice their stories through exhibit and film. Now at home in Alaska, mornings begin in front of the wood stove with coffee, a stack of poetry books and her husband as they read poems aloud to begin each day.
Her writing appears as prose on road signs in Alaska’s Copper River watershed and as poems along an estuary trail in Homer, Alaska. She’s received several statewide literary awards. Her work has been published by the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Quarterly Review, New Rivers Press, Cirque, and anthologized in Out on the Deep Blue: Women, Men and the Ocean They Fish. In collaboration with her dear friend, Lê Phương, their poetry translations were published in The Defiant Muse: Vietnamese Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present. She envisioned and coordinated Poems in Place, a project that placed poetry by Alaskan poets on signs in Alaska’s state parks.