Publishers Weekly called Twichell “a major voice in contemporary poetry,” and this long-overdue retrospective supports the claim. Selected from six award-winning books, this volume collects the best of Twichell’s meditative and startling poems and includes a book-length selection of new work. A longtime student of Zen Buddhism, Twichell probes how the “self” changes over time, and how the perception of self affects the history and meaning of our lives. Her poems exhibit a deep and urgent love of the natural world amidst ecological decimation, while also delving into childhood memories and the surprise and nourishment that come from radical shifts in perception, be it from the death of loved ones or spiritual epiphany.
“To read a well done ‘selected poems’ is to follow a life, and we find that here as we watch the poet grow from one in love with thought and language to one who quietly yet intensely contemplates the world by leaning toward the essential. Hers is a world of wounded beauty which she confronts and records for us.” —New York Journal of Books
“Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been shows Twichell to be an ever-dark, deep, sonorous, serious, and changing voice.” —Rain Taxi
“At its core, Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been is a collection of sacred moments, moments in which Twichell deftly turns the mundane into poetry.” —Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
“[Twichell’s] work of the new century… proffer[s] one astonishing poem after another. She is writing at ‘the height of her powers,’ as the cliché goes. In fact, she is writing at the depth, the width, of her powers. Every poem is necessary.” —Salamander