Notes from the Column of Memory
Barnes & Noble
Release Date: September 15, 2022
"In Wendy Drexler’s new book, the vividly remembered past and the carefully observed present are on intimate terms, constantly informing each other. So too the poet and the natural world, especially its animals, recalled and encountered with precision and empathy. Remembered parents provide an emotional undercurrent—especially the mother, addressed in a crown of sonnets that offers formal pleasure amidst the abundant visual surprises of these fine poems."
—Martha Collins, Casualty Reports: Poems
"From the first poem “Red-Eared Slider” through to the final “All the Hours the Night Has Left,” Drexler weaves a tapestry of love, loss, grief, and acceptance—an elaborate kaddish in which she celebrates and sanctifies the names of the things, events, and persons she remembers. Notes from the Column of Memory is a much-needed collection that will underscore for every reader the need to document, accept, and sing the hardships, the sorrows, and joys we are all born to— bound to. This is one of the most moving offerings of poetry I have read in a long time. And, for me, the experience of reading it is captured in one of the volumes many memorable lines: it is … a hustle of tart and sweet so sharp it hurt."
—Regie Gibson, Storms Beneath the Skin
"Wendy Drexler’s Notes from the Columns of Memory is a master class in perception. We are moved between ekphrastic poems and climate change, family and loneliness, guided by a woman grateful to a body changing and changed. Drexler’s deft images, taut language, and well-wrought lines break “open a lifetime of devotions,” the speaker and her memories “reclaimed, called back” to both history and home."
—Donika Kelly, The Renunciations: Poems
In Jacob Butlett’s wonderful review of my new book in the Atticus Review, he writes, “Readers will love Drexler’s polished craft choices,” and “Everyone should read Notes from the Column of Memory, especially those who appreciate poems with sensory-filled images and dramatic, personal pathos.” It’s gratifying when a reader gleans a truth a poem holds, one that I would not have been able to articulate: “Drexler ends the book on a remarkable note, indirectly inviting readers . . . not to discount sorrow, a feeling that can precede personal growth.” Yes, and thanks to Jacob Butlett for extending this poem’s insight in a beautiful way.