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Book Review :: Thine by Kate Partridge

Guest Post by Jami Macarty

In Thine, Kate Partridge’s meditative lyrics generously allow poetic perspectives physical and cognitive, situated in landscape and observation, located in “the city, the body” and “the peopled land the landed people.” Whether “the burn crouching through the valley” or “a gauntlet of yellow flowers” the poet “let[s] things gather around” her.

Simultaneously the poet reckons with her positionality; “one’s position is fault.” Whether “at the precipice,” “on a dock,” “above the playa,” or “standing on the bike path,” the poet wishes for the “presence / / and vision” of others—intimates, artists, and writers. The writers range from Jorie Graham to Marianne Moore to C. D. Wright; six poems “erase… one reserved letter from Willa Cather to her partner Edith.” Joining epistles, homages, and erasures, ekphrastic poems engage Dorothea “Lange’s photos of women in deserts,” Agnes Martin’s grid paintings, and Walter de Maria’s land art, among others.

The poet’s multiple poetic perspectives, conversations, and forms offer readers an artist’s “many ways to give, / thought to the other.” For the poet, engagement with artists, art, land, and self seems to offer her heart means to “expanding in all / sorts of ways” and to “gird” for the necessary wait for the “pockmarked future.”

Dear Reader, “if at any time / you have need of a beginning, look” to Kate Partridge’s “evident truths.” There among “the rising proof of grass” she will meet thee and these poems will be Thine.

Thine by Kate Partridge. Tupelo Press, September 2023.

Reviewer bio: Jami Macarty is the author of The Long Now Conditions Permit, winner of the 2023 Test Site Poetry Series Prize, forthcoming fall 2024, and The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona. Jami’s four chapbooks include The Whole Catastrophe, forthcoming summer 2024 from the Vallum Chapbook Series, and Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. To learn more about Jami’s writing, editing, and teaching practices visit her author website.

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