Ann Dernier is always true to what is, which is more than calling her a realist or some such for it's always the undercurrent (or the upper or the accompanying) which directs the poem, and another name for it is the spirit. She can't help herself. If she is writing about a particular chair she is always, at the same time, writing about chairness, or chair ity. As you will see, if she's writing about (I want to say "experiencing") the memory of love in a city dear to her it is what we call the invisible that finally takes over; and since her subject is love, she even writes a hilarious, but serious, poem about American presidents French kissing Saddam Hussein, which she calls "A new language in Babylon." She is an inventive, original poet; beauty is at her finger tips. ~Gerald Stern, poet, essayist, 1998 National Book Award winner for This Time: New and Selected
The things I love in this book are its subtlety and sophistication, its fiery eros and wisdom and wovenness and care—care in the word craft and care in handling the duo fragilities of world and of humanness. These poems are made of formal precision, a procession of lines cropped just right as photographs, as words caught in the throat and almost unuttered. I am reminded that only in poetry can the ineffable when whispered finally be heard. ~Barbara Cully, Poet, 1996 National Poetry Series Open Competition for The New Intimacy.