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Eggphrasis, Poems by Ronnie Hess

Eggphrasis by Ronnie Hess is a narrative of her experiences raising hens for eggs in her backyard. Using a variety of poetic styles, both formal and experimental, Hess takes us on an offbeat journey across human and animal worlds in this affecting collection.

Sample Poems by Ronnie Hess

“Ronnie Hess’s Eggphrasis is a mix of astute and sympathetic observations about her backyard chickens and encounters with wild species, interwoven with her perspectives on life. Her poetry is by turns amusing and poignant, while providing insight into the birds she writes about. Eggphrasis is both accessible and refreshing.” – Anna Pidgeon

“Even the title of her new book, Eggphrasis, suggests that Ronnie Hess will serve up a treat of language play. She begins with a tongue-in-cheek definition of the key term in her book’s title, also the name of her newly invented mode, eggphrasis – the use of detailed description of a work of poultry reproduction as a literary device. The poems continue in this quiet and often wry voice, focusing on the hens in her backyard, observing them closely and seeing them in ways applicable to our concerns as poets and as human beings. One vigilant, early rising hen, for example, is still only self-published. Several hens are bullied, at least one is like an opera star. The book also includes some ekphrastic poems, responding to art that relates to this book’s central motif. Other poems focus on fresh observation of birds in the wild. Throughout this collection, birds are a delight, a cause for concern, a flock, unique individuals, worthy of attention in and of themselves and for what they sometimes suggest about us humans. These insightful poems present for our regard the narrow and the wide earth and all who find a place here to fly, to walk, to write, and to practice their art.” – Margaret Rozga

“In 1981, as a news reporter, Ronnie Hess covered the first hatching in captivity of a Siberian crane chick, Dushenka, at the International Crane Foundation. (Dushenka means little loved one in Russian.) Perhaps this event explains her continued affection for feathered creatures, including backyard hens, her muses in this delightful poetry collection.” – George Archibald

About the Author

Ronnie Hess is a poet, essayist, editor, award-winning journalist, and the author of six poetry collections, as well as two culinary travel guides (on France and Portugal, Ginkgo Press). Born and raised in New York City, she now lives in Madison, WI. She has served on the Boards of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and The Friends of Lorine Niedecker. Visit http://ronniehess.com

About the Artist

Mary Sprague, longtime Professor Emeritus of Art and Art History at Meramec Community College in St. Louis, draws, paints, and most recently thinks with clay. After completing her Bachelor and Master of Arts at Stanford University in California, she moved with her husband and four children to the Midwest and has been immersed in the St. Louis art community for the past forty-five years. Sprague’s expansive repertoire of style and content has included notable studies of mysterious domestic interiors, vibrant equestrians, and chickens with a certain extra amount of cluck. Trained in an era of abstract expressionism, Sprague has been able to combine color and form from multiple eras to suit her own tastes and unique almost caricatures of domestic American scenery. Visit https://www.marysprague.com

ISBN-13: 978-1625494467, 82 pages

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