At The Narrows
At The Narrows, the new poetry collection from award-winning poet Meredith Davies Hadaway, explores the birds, bugs, thickets, streams and marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. With the clarity of birdsong and the energy of tides, Hadaway’s third volume evokes the memory and mystery that shape our braided lives. Winner of the 2015 Delmarva Book Prize for Creative Writing.
“In Meredith Davies Hadaway’s vibrant new collection, she ferries us to the heart of the world, ‘all muscle and shine.’
These poems are as elegant as they are exacting. They sound the very depths of the river Hadaway is teaching us to call
home, where we recognize the losses and the wonders as our own.”
— Jody Gladding, author of Translations from Bark Beetle
The River is a Reason
“Meredith Davies Hadaway is an elegant poet who reminds us that we are of the earth—its land, sky, and water—while
revealing our humanness, our grief, fear, longing and resilience.”
— Julianna Baggott, author of Lizzie Borden in Love and Compulsions of Silkworms and Bees
“Meredith Davies Hadaway has something that very few poets do—a blend of down-to-earth congeniality and genuine intensity. She writes what she calls in one poem “the dream that’s underfoot.” As they balance between the everyday and the mysterious, as they flow between praise and lament, these poems are dignified throughout by a master’s feel for sentence and line. Like the river that runs through the heart of it, the whole collection gathers itself into a single, sinuous body. American poetry is richer for this river.”
— Peter Campion, author of El Dorado
“Gorgeous—from cover to cover—and the poems are
among the most graceful and restrained I have read in a
— Sue Ellen Thompson, author of They
Fishing Secrets of the Dead
“Page by page, secret by secret, this book dazzles, disarms, and gathers force. Here is art stripped of its artifice. Heartbreakingly tough, breathtakingly tender, these poems make soundless crossings over the threshold of grief.
— Nance Van Winckel
“In Fishing Secrets of the Dead, Meredith Davies Hadaway pays attention to experience by noting the dance of ‘fog and shadow’ that shifts and turns to reveal the strange familiarity of a moment. This she uses to describe the difficult and too-early death of her husband and its aftermath, which finds her trying to differentiate ‘darkness and darkness.’ These poems are so clean and spare and poignant that they contain what can only be called truth, and like truth, they provide solace but not comfort.
— Michael Collier
“Hadaway’s beautiful poems of love, memory, and mourning introduce us to a sensibility tempered by loss and tuned to the truth that grief teaches: the dead, as Hadaway movingly observes, are “the secret we cannot tell”—except when we tell that secret in poems as mysteriously purified and shapely as these wistful elegies for a husband too soon dead and wise meditations on the irrecoverable possibilities of the past. Fishing Secrets of the Dead marks the debut of a haunting lyrical voice.”
— Sandra M. Gilbert
“The reader will discover soon enough the author’s late husband stands as the elegized subject in a wonderful romance that is powerful poem after poem. But the sudden lyric hymns to rivers, birds, fish come with additional impact and the openness of clearing skies after storm. Sometimes as terse as Emily Dickinson, Hadaway is certainly the voice of Maryland’s Eastern Shore in these poems that are as sweet and true as a sea-cleaned shell shining in the hand. Moreover, they resonate with time’s big story. Fishing Secrets of the Dead is an auspicious, welcome poem.”
— Dave Smith