Nancy Kuhl is the author of The Wife of the Left Hand, Suspend, and Pine to Sound, all from Shearsman. She's also published several chapbooks and, to my mind, understands the possibilities of that book form as well as any poet. Her poetry often examines the lives of women, from her own to Amelia Earhart to Hildegard of Bingen. Her attention to language and to detail, her deft choice of image, the grappling with ideas through sound as well as meaning--all of it draws me in. Here are a few lines from "Pyramid," a poem about various ways a person might fall:
Doesn’t it please you, their aesthetic collapse, how, for a moment, they flutter like dandelion seeds? The top-most girl falls
often—from curbs, over tree-- roots, almost anything might send her.
Nancy is also the Curator of Poetry for the the Beinecke Library's Collection of American Literature. In that role, she has written several exhibition catalogs, including Intimate Circles: American Women in the Arts, which I'm incredibly happy to have on my shelf and go back to regularly. Her work--her own poetry and also the conversations she fosters through her work as a curator and librarian--shapes contemporary poetry in wonderful ways.