By Kate Kearns
Every cactus needs its desert –
and nourished uncherished.
Leave it to the sun
and sand; let it burn.
With every embrace, a puncture.
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PRAISE FOR HOW TO LOVE AN INTROVERT:
“From this little book’s opening poem, ‘Genesis,’ in which ‘the word insists upon itself,’ to its closing poem’s imperative, ‘Tell it like the scrape of the match before it’s burned up,’ How to Love an Introvert quietly celebrates the tidal cycles of human grief and resilient joy. Kate Kearns creates a Maine landscape of human loves–mother, husband, daughter, father, sister—a register made in iambic waves as they touch her shore.”
Janet Sylvester, author of That Mulberry Wine, The Mark of Flesh, and Visitor at the Gate
“I look through those who look through me,” says the transparent speaker of “Window,” one of the twenty clear-eyed and lapidary lyrics in Kate Kearns’s debut chapbook, How to Love an Introvert. As a lyric poet must, Kearns thinks in images. She also feels on her pulses the subtlest insinuations between people and nature, from “the hollering sea” to “the curtain [that] moves a little with the draft.” We recognize a devotion to, and kinship with, Elizabeth Bishop in these poems, made explicit in the superb homage, “Leaving Samambaia.” But Bishop’s salutary influence undergoes an alchemical change, Kearns bringing her own brand of poignant intimacy to perceptions that are fresh, eccentric, and often beautiful. And no one can hear the expert free-verse cadences in a poem like “In the Grey” without thinking, this poet’s ear is as fine and refined as her eye.
Steven Cramer, author of Goodbye to the Orchard and Clangings.