With enormous care and unquenchable daring, Rhona McAdam explores our relationship to the living world and challenges the constraints of contemporary poetry in her latest collection, Larder.
Fully immersed in the organic world, Larder is at once an elegant transcription of the spiritual nourishment that comes from our embrace of the earth and of the inevitable loss in our unwillingness to embrace sustainability. In her latest collection, McAdam navigates the dark places of human movement through the earth and the exquisite intricacies lingering in backyard gardens and farmlands populated by insects and pollinators, all the while returning to the body, to the tune of staccato beats and the newly discovered symmetries within the human heart.
“Larder brims with grit, heart and gentle wit. McAdam’s perceptive poems dig in the earth to celebrate its creatures and its harvest, offering vibrant and memorable takes on the marvels around us. Generous, precise and compelling, these poems sate a reader’s appetite for the worlds beneath our feet and on our plates.”
—Lorri Neilsen Glenn, author of Following the River: Traces of Red River Woman
“Whether taking on the persona of wild bees or a skate or dispassionately observing wireworms and tent caterpillars, Rhona McAdam’s trained ecologist’s and nutritionist’s eyes bring to life not only the animals we eat and how they are caught and prepared, but even inanimate objects such as a table and chairs. But she does so with wit and precision—Into this murk the salamander / slips its small majesty—as well as a succulent joy in the textures of everyday objects, especially foods. This she then frames in a larger awareness of the earth’s crust melting and the ‘work of millennia’ undone. Maybe, as she says, ‘I have no training in mortality’ but she can certainly make us feel not just the body’s internal workings and disintegrations but the way it ties in with global concerns. This is a book one sits down to as to a well prepared, locally sourced dinner, that is also a feast for the imagination.”
—Christopher Levenson, author of Night Vision
“The poet Rhona McAdam, as an a cappella epicurean, as a solitary oboe voice delighting in the raw flesh of language ever mindful of her job to record nature and the nature of nature, wields her craft a tool, not a toy, to set edge to the lay of stone—to light the way for worms—to give flavours to rotting manure—travelling feathered light years in place setting for humanity.”
—Lynn R. Miller, editor/publisher of Small Farmer’s Journal