MinePaperback - 2007
The poems in Slow Fire use original and compelling language to create experiences so real that the reader can inhabit them. This poet can delight in a "loitering" saxophone or a twelfth-century stone prayer hut, but much of her attention--her "eye" of close observation and precise language--is tuned to the natural world.
With a lifelong interest in ecology and outdoor experience from Maine to Arizona, Pamela Alexander incorporates specifics of desert and forest into her lines. Whatever the subject of the poem, from the death of a mother to marriage to real estate (James Merrill called her choice of subjects "impeccably democratic"), this is a book with an environmental consciousness and a liveliness of language that engages the reader on many levels.
Pamela Alexander is the author of three previous collections. Her first, Navigable Waterways, a Yale Younger Poets selection, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. After teaching for many years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she joined the faculty of Oberlin College, where she is co-editor of FIELD magazine. An avid outdoorswoman, Alexander often finds the beginnings of poems as she bikes, hikes, kayaks, and cross-country skis. She divides her time between Ohio and Ontario, Canada.