Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Marjorie Saiser


Bones of a Very Fine Hand
Copyright © 1999
by Marjorie Saiser
Backwaters Press

Marge Saiser's poetry is wise and generous and altogether genuine. No poet in this country is better at writing about love, and ... all her poems are in some way about love. — Ted Kooser

I am deeply moved by these extraordinary poems about giving birth and dying, about what it means to live life with dignity. They grow out of the heart of America, out of the landscape of small town and prairie, out of the hearts of people who look you straight in the eye. You dare not turn away, for the lessons to learn here are compelling. Marjorie Saiser is not only a wise and compassionate writer — her poems shine with details of the things of this earth, they pulse with the earth's very rhythms. — Judith Minty

Marge Saiser's brilliant poems are gifts of her vision. Packed with sensory detail and the multiple perspectives of the accomplished artist, Saiser's poems take as their subject all aspects of family life. Through generations on the farm and in town, these poems everywhere meet and match the predations of despair, poverty, violence and indifference with the assurance of love. Saiser counsels risk in the face of danger, faith in the natural world. She is the real thing, a poet working for us. — Hilda Raz

Her poems, having cleared their throats, sing. In a voice both fresh and accessible these poems reflect an enduring persistence; they make connections that, for better or worse, through sickness and health, provide ties that keep right on binding. — William Kloefkorn

Someone get a permanent marker and add Marjorie Saiser's name to the list of Nebraska's literary treasures. ... The poems that comprise Bones of a Very Fine Hand are steeped in family, rich in texture, both clear in their meaning and clouded with allusions. They spring from the page, gripping the reader and holding them captive until the end. — Bruce R Nelson, Nebraska Territory

The poems within Bones of a Very Fine Hand can be envisioned as a stack of photographs from a treasured family album. Some glitter in their clarity and some are more fuzzy, less focused in the image that they render. All are redolent with the warmth of love and family radiating from Saiser's carefully chosen words. — NCB News

Fearing Water
Copyright © 2013
by Marjorie Saiser
Parallel Press

In Fearing Water, Saiser unflinchingly depicts the evolution of a challenging parent-child relationship; each poem is rich with emotion, observation, and Saiser’s steady voice, and serves as a counterpoint to the scene described in the opening poem, “Holding Out.” Here, the mother’s refusal to voice an opinion about whether she’d like to see a movie—or to speak at all—creates a tight whirlpool of longing and dread that threatens to pull the family under. Ultimately, this unspoken tide resolves as the speaker ages and becomes the caretaker, rather than the child, and Saiser’s voice moves nimbly from the frustrated anger of youth to acceptance, and even transcendence. "Let us teach / one another," the speaker says to her mother in “Fearing Water,” "become a species with fins. / Fear is the watery thing in which we swim."

Losing the Ring in the River
Copyright © 2013
by Marjorie Saiser
University of New Mexico Press

Spare and incisive, the poems in Losing the Ring in the River deal with three strong women — Clara, Emma, and Liz, women who are tough, often sassy, and have dreams that aren't quelled by the realities they face. Saiser deftly explores the undercurrents connecting three generations and is at her most powerful when she explores how lives are restricted and sometimes painfully damaged by what people cannot or will not share with one another. Saiser's poetry is as harsh as it is beautiful; she avoids resolutions and easy endings, focusing instead on the small, hard-won victories that each woman experiences in her life and in her love of those around her. — from the publisher

Without a doubt, Marge Saiser is one of the finest poets writing in Nebraska today. ...Marge Saiser's book is art. — Rebecca Faber, Nebraska Center for the Book

Lost in Seward County
Copyright © 2001
by Marjorie Saiser
Backwaters Press

In her new book Lost in Seward County, Marjorie Saiser opens pages of her life, shaping a distinctive world that Nebraskans share and understand. — Nebraska State

Road Trip
Copyright © 2003
by Marjorie Saiser & Shelly Clark
Backwaters Press

Who does JV Brummels write on Mondays? How did Jonis Agee come to ride her horse on the streets of Omaha? Who fostered William Kloefkorn's interest in language? Why does Ted Kooser recommend spending an afternoon in Morrill Hall? What similarities does Eamonn Wall find between Nebraska and his hometown in Ireland? How does Don Welch feel about grading poetry? There are many fine writers in Nebraska, many more than can fit into one book, but here's a start. Go on the road with Marjorie Saiser and Shelly Clark as they talk with a dozen writers about early writing experiences and teaching styles. The book also features selected poetry and prose of William Kloefkorn, Don Welch, Brent Spencer, Jonis Agee, Barbara Schmitz, Charles Fort, Hiilda Raz, Ron Block, Eamonnn Wall, Twyla Hansen, JV Brummels, and Ted Kooser. — from the jacket

If you like to write or are just plain interested in the mind of a writer, this is the book for you. — NCB News

Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace
Copyright © 2002
by Marjorie Saiser, Greg Kosmicki, and Lisa Sandlin (eds)
Backwaters Press

Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace is a collection of poetry, fiction, and memoir by women writers from the Great Plains/High Plains region of the US, including such notes authors and poets as Jonis Agee, Marilyn Krysl, Judith Minty, Mary Pipher, Hilda Raz, CarolAnn Russel, Judith Sornberger, Laurel Speer, Gladys Swan, and SL Wisenberg. — from the jacket

From the visually stunning cover to the black and white wildflower drawings and eye pleasing font, this anthology is a keeper. It is a map of secret journeys to be shared, read and reread. — Midwest Book Review

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