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Authors: Ansie Baird
Series: White Pine Press Poetry Prize
“In Ansie Baird's debut collection In Advance of All Parting, the winner of the fourteenth annual White Pine Press Poetry Prize, formal feeling and Baird's own grief-tempered voice lead us from the fissures of legacy and marriage, through the epiphanies of art and the sorrows of loss, to the "wild interiority" of her own spirit. Although Baird has been one of the Buffalo area's most highly regarded and widely published poets over the past three and a half decades, In Advance of All Parting is her first full-length collection. Half a lifetime in the making, this book is well worth the wait.”
—RD Phol - The Buffalo News
Ansie Baird is Poet in Residence and a part-time English teacher at The Buffalo Seminary, a non-sectarian secondary school in Buffalo, where she has taught for the past thirty-one years. She has also taught for Just Buffalo Literary Center in their Writers In Education program for the past twenty two years, conducting workshops in elementary, middle and high schools in the Buffalo area.
“The speaker of the poems in Angie Baird's remarkable first collection is besieged by angels, messengers bearing often bitter, sometimes comic, always complicated home (and broken-home) truths. Hers is a various, well-stocked world inflected by elegiac understanding and a brisk, unflinching willingness to encounter the hard facts of a life marked by sadness, loss and disappointment, yet never losing its skeptical willingness to see the absurd, the comic, the ridiculous side of it all. Whether engaging in “bitter battles with the past,” handling the shocks of betrayal, or celebrating the pleasures of the sensuous life, the sharp-tongued yet always in their own way well mannered, astringently honest poems in Ahead of All Parting play out a wonderfully self-aware drama of an eye, a nervous system, and a heart-all endlessly vigilant, missing nothing. What I especially like and admire is how Baird's language-tuned to lyric, comic, satiric, and elegiac frequencies-manages to write a scrutinised life, an embattled consciousness, into an alive, essentially entertaining presence that, as she says of the heart, will “hold out.””
“Hard sorrow,” “dozing old bones,” narrators “besieged by angels,” berating letters from Hayden Carruth, the many sorrows of divorce, family history, love good and bad and painful -- these are only a few of the many elements of grief and ardor to be in this overdue first book by a poet of intelligence and passion. Ansie Baird has made herself and us wait a long time but In Advance of All Parting is well worth the wait.”
“In Advance of All Parting is a tough, unsentimental examination of marital grief. Musically elegant and inventive, understated and passionate, the poems give us a profound glimpse into how the events of a life can form a center of gravity that fixes the self in its force field. There's a cold, truth-telling clarity about them that makes them as unsettling as they are beautiful. Ansie Baird has created a richly-drawn world in which this elemental drama plays out, and the result is vivid, startling poems in which pain has left its indelible tracks.”
"It is surely a mark of a fine poem when it comes back unbidden, long after you've left off reading, as though to elucidate some otherwise indescribable phenomenon in the world. This I find happening with Ansie Baird's poems. In Advance of All Parting is composed of flashes and facets of a life as seen through the prism of older age, clear-sighted and sardonic. But beyond this,
her best work possesses a high degree of that intimate strangeness (part living voice, part an attentiveness to formal properties) that is at once rare and essential to the art."
|$16.00||120 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 1-935210-09-2||2009|