Poetry gives us a quickened sense of pleasure, of recognition for something close to what we might call home. Thus, it is the unique gift of a poet to distill a place, a moment, a feeling in such a way that draws readers into his or her intimate world, inviting them to make it their own. In Where One Voice Ends Another Begins, seventy-six extraordinary poets from across generations invite readers to experience Minnesota through hundreds of diverse and deeply personal works.
Quiet observations of daily life, the effects of political movements, feelings of love lost and found are explored in the poetry of such literary greats as Louise Erdrich, Barton Sutter, Mary Carr, G. E. Patterson, and Ray Gonzalez. The nurturing song-lyrics of the early Dakota and Ojibwe offer uncommonly personal glimpses into Minnesota’s past. Works by a remarkable generation of poets who emerged in the ’60s—John Berryman, Robert Bly, James Wright, and many others—showcase an astonishing literary vitality in a place far removed from the poetry hot spots of the coasts.
Poetry “is what it is because an extraordinary genius paused at that point in history and touched it,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. The poets in this collection share this amazing gift and together present a moving portrait that is Minnesota—its people, landscape, and culture.
Born and raised in Red Wing, Minnesota, Robert Hedin is the author, translator, and editor of nineteen volumes of poetry and prose. He serves as director of the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing.