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Taking up the personas of Eve, Sarah, Dinah, Mary, Martha and five other women from the Bible, Tania Runyan offers a stunning collection of poems in which the ancient and modern worlds collide. A Thousand Vessels reveals the common and complex experiences of women across the ages--loneliness, friendship, fear, hope, violence, love, bitterness, consolation. Fellow poet Jeanne Murray Walker says, "The two [worlds] are so wonderfully imagined and entwined that I found myself turning the pages of A Thousand Vessels as compulsively as if it were fiction."
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Tania Runyan is the author of Simple Weight (FutureCycle Press) and Delicious Air (Finishing Line Press), which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Image, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, The Christian Century, Willow Springs, Nimrod, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest and the anthology A Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. She was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011.Review:
'To punish me, Adam has taken over / the trees: Don't touch any this time.' This is what Eve tells us in Tania Runyan's A Thousand Vessels, and reading it changed the way I thought about Eve. Runyan tells the strange and gripping stories of many women in the Bible from their own viewpoints. There is bitterness and anger in their workds, but also love and faith. Layered upon these accounts are the poet's astute reflections on the contemporary world. The two are so wonderfully imagined and entwined that I found myself turning the pages of A Thousand Vessels as compulsively as if it were fiction. --Jeanne Murray Walker, author of New Tracks, Night Falling
It only takes some fifty poems to fill A Thousand Vessels to a wild and welcome overflowing. The water of the written word is turned into the wine of verse with Tania Runyan's miraculous touch. . . . To read her is to gain a taste of what it is to be fully human. --Paul J. Willis, author of Rosing from the Dead
A Thousand Vessels seems close to bursting with a thousand voices--or rather, one major overriding voice that names a thousand things throughout these ambitious, quick-eyed, heart-wrenching poems. . . . Throughout this memorable collection, Runyan follows exactly the daring actions of one of the early poems here--she shows herself supremely to be a poet who can 'touch, cut a path, and name.' --Brett Foster, author of The Garbage Eater
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