Poetry. "Over the decades of writing, Joan Larkin has proved her mastery, whether the poem is mythic, elegiac, or biographical. Her honesty is overwhelming, but it is coupled with poetic cunning, gorgeous language and a rhythm and tone so precise and appropriate that it is--as in the great poets--transparent. There are no tricks and no evasive moves, nothing that in ten years she will be ashamed of or confused by. She is a poet of compassion and pity. Where it is appropriate, she is merciless, especially to herself. I love reading her poems; I love reading them over and over. I salute her"--Gerald Stern.