Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Denise Banker


Copyright © 2011
by Denise Banker
Empty Bowl Press

In Swimming the Colorado, Denise Banker's poems capture the reader for an intense existential journey from remembered childhood into an adulthood haunted by loss and grief but redeemed through nature by love. The lyrics — beautifully etched — are at turns provocative, sensuous, healing, and real. This is Banker's long-awaited first collection. — from the publisher

Denise Banker's poems have an uncanny ability to be at once soothing and rattling, to speak to us like an old, long-loved friend while also lifting us from our comfort zones and tossing us to parts unknown. They chart a course that ranges from unfathomable grief to bright transcendence. I won't be prying myself loose from them anytime soon. — Meghan Daum

Opening to these lifetime poems, I felt refreshed and touched keenly as well, humanly: brisk, telling word-moments livening every part of speech, gifting us the present tense, stopping on the edge of recognition, passion blent in the dazzling exact presence of flora, fauna too, until the verse turns terser, abraded, true. — John Felstiner

Denise Banker has produced a truly elegant work. The poem titles alone make you want to read every page, carefully, several times, making sure you catch the nuances, make the connections with your own life and memories, and wonder how much of this imagery comes from her own experiences and how much from her observations of others. She has captured, as only a poet can, the subtle richness of life in an arid land. — John Janovy, Jr

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Nebraska Center for Writers