Rock • Tree • Bird

Author: Twyla M. Hansen 
Format: Paperback, 88 pages
ISBN: 978-1935218456
Published: April 2017

Buy This Book: Amazon

Critical Praise for Rock Tree Bird

“Twyla Hansen’s Rock Tree Bird is the poetry of an agriculturalist, a lover of soil and plants, of Great Plains waterways and skies, of the tiniest creatures in our grasses and soils and the largest turnings of our stars and cosmos.  In this book, she sings of her parents and their deaths, of metamorphoses in the natural and human world and of our searches for a stable center, the human search for meaning in the quotidian.  In her last section, she seeks for the sacredness deep down in things without religious cliché: ‘Oh christ! Your body broken, eaten, / your blood shed over this land. / Forgive us for not remembering, / Before it is too late, teach us how / To love our one and only earth.’  The poetry of place may be poetry of memory, of perception, or of vision.  Twyla Hansen’s work in this book is the poetry of all three, from memory of farm and family and death in an almost-lost Nebraska to perception of everything in that Nebraska that inspires awe from spider webs and cricket presences to moon movements or ‘gods’ in the stars and planets, and, finally, to visions of the sacred that come in the presence of the mindful seeing of daily things. This is great work.”
– Paul A. Olson, Professor Emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Against ‘[t]he day’s temporary news,’ Nebraska state poet Twyla Hansen tells a story of childhood on a homestead where ‘It was miles to anywhere and the center of our universe.’  Yet it is with her mother’s dying that this reader is most moved: love for the land, the sunrise, all ever present in each poem here, for life. Through poems that speak of local richness, wildlife and stars, Hansen builds her new book.”
– Hilda Raz, author of All Odd and Splendid (Wesleyan University Press)

“The moving interplay of soaring lyric and sure-footed story telling in Twyla Hansen’s Rock Tree Bird transcends the Nebraska farms, plains, and rivers, to illuminate her vision beyond regionalism to touch the universal. This collection establishes Hansen as a poet who employs her grasp of the deep map of her home places to speak to the world that explores an impressive range of carefully thought material and poetic style. This collection firmly places Hansen in the company of world poets.”
– Drucilla Wall – author of The Geese at the Gates (Salmon Poetry)