BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY
2020 Best Book Award Finalist
BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY:
Pedestal Magazine, Issue 86 https://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/eleanor-kedneys-between-the-earth-and-sky-reviewed-by-richard-allen-taylor/
The Blue Nib Literary Magazine, December 1,2020
Misfit Magazine, Issue 31, Fall 2020
Essay and Review
BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY:
I've just read your poem "Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary," and I just had to take a minute to tell you how much I enjoy that poem. Just so full of love, so nuanced and particular, lovely, lovely. Every detail floats into poetry. I’ll add that I delight in salt-frayed air, pictured instantly how the baby alligator postures (perfect image), saw the low-slung Florida sun. And surely the lizards rush. Good work, my friend, very good.
—Vivian Malloy, Poet
The title poem “Between the Earth and Sky” is so powerful, so stark, so deceptively simple but absolutely deep and layered. In “Uncles” I saw a quote my mother always sang to me when I complained. I have never ever seen it anywhere and my hair went up—“nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms.” Wonderful work.
—Stephanie E. Dickinson, Fiction Writer and editor of Skidrow Penthouse
"I just read Between the Earth and Sky in one sitting. It is a book of beauty and pain that I can relate to. In poems mostly short, Eleanor Kedney reveals elements of her life from an uneasy childhood through a brother's death from addiction and twenty-five years of a happy and supportive marriage. And although her story is not mine, I feel the dissonance of it in every poem. Her language is rich but simple, her images focused and true. I learned what to consider in my own work by reading hers. Hers does not overwhelm you with pain, does not get frivolous with love. It finds a perfect balance in between, and isn't that what we all seek? The fact that these poems tell a true story shows a strength of overcoming that many of us need to know and understand."
—Nancy Himel, Poet and Writers Studio Member
"I just finished your book. I savored it. I was disappointed when it was over! I appreciated how deep, honest and intimate you were. I loved the poem for Peter! And I got such a kick out of the familiar: the mesquite lit up like a Christmas tree you see every day on your way home! It always rubbed me the wrong way too, but boy the place you went—the practical torture of the tree was cause for pause. You have a wonderful focus on the world."
“As someone with a background in geology, your river poems and their braiding of the personal and environmental were particularly moving to me. Between the Earth and Sky is an incredible showcase of crystal clarity in poetry as well as effective lyrical moments and deeply impactful movements in last lines. Thank you so much for sharing your poetry and expertise. I’m truly inspired. My poetry is all the better for the lessons I have learned from your craft.”
—Richard Leis, Poet, Writer & Writers Studio Teacher
"I have learned a lot about poetry by reading your book. There is a depth to your poems and to being a poet. What I knew about poetry was from reading poetry in high school. It was about making words rhyme. I'm reading a couple of poems each day from the book and your words and images roll through my mind throughout the day like thunder goes across the sky. I love the title and the cover of the book. There is balance in the way the words are placed. The word "earth" is in the sky and the word "sky" is on the earth. The balance is right in the middle—it's where the gold is."
—Ted Harrison, Retired Clinical Social Worker
I have read your book. It's very affecting. I work with people to clear emotional pain, and so it's interesting to me that you have channeled yours into beautiful poetry! You truly have a gift for expression, and many of your images have stayed with me. (I am sorry for your "losses".) You are a very sensitive and observant person. Thank you. I'm glad I got your book.
Inter-View #8, The Maynard
February 15, 2020
Backstory of the Poem #189, Eleanor Kedney's "Between the Earth and Sky." Interview by Christal A Cooper:
REVIEWS OF THE OFFERING
THE RESIDENT, November 16-29, 2016 (www.theresident.com)
By Roger Zotti
Excerpt: “The terrific poems in the “The Offering,” with their unique and often startling images and caring humor, do precisely what Eleanor, the founder of The Writers Studio Tucson, intended—which is to ‘connect with some of the reader’s own personal truths that are very private.’ "
RE-VIEW ON THE OFFERING, PUBLISHED IN THE MAYNARD:
To read the entire review published in The Maynard:
“I want to say a bit about two qualities of voice and character. First, I appreciate the self-deprecating tone the poet/speaker uses in some of the poems. This allows poet/speaker to be seen as a fallible human being. In the very first poem of the chapbook, “The Offering,” she is responsible for the death of a quail; in “What We Do,” she describes her husband as “patient” with her “OCD”; in “Twelve Days from Transfer” she provides intimidate details about her process of in vitro fertilization. Not every person or poet would allow herself to be seen in these ways. Here, she joins the company of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Sharon Olds, among others who also share intimate details of their lives in their poetry.”
—Jami Macarty, Founder, Advisory Board, Views Editor
“In “A Long Period of Sadness,” when ‘palms press against the window, feels like an echo,’ the window also becomes mirror. Looking out and looking in/(back) are no longer distinct. As one of the last poems in the collection, for me it suggests a dislocation of the personal and intimate subject or self: “the calling of my name stops—released from what failed to bloom.” There is a failure to remember or mourn, but there is also a release from failure and a release as failure. Instead of trying to unconditionally assert itself, the voice gives into itself. This, for me, is one of the most powerful and exciting things a poet can do.”
—Nicholas Hauck, Founder, Advisory Board, Managing Editor
"The Craft of Writing" - The Tucson Weekly, August 24, 2006
"The Writers Studio Helps Students Hone the Art of Crafting Words" - Inside Tucson Business, March 8, 2013
Praise for Poems:
Mslexia – New Writing, theme of birds, Issue 68, Dec/Jan/Feb 2015/16
Comments by Mslexia guest editor Gillian Allnut on "Stellar's Jay" chosen for publication:
‘Stellar’s Jay’ by Eleanor Kedney is, by contrast, pleasingly plain and matter-of-fact. It has the quiet simplicity of a Chinese poem, centuries old, in translation. Precise, it tells us what we need to know in order to feel the effect of the last two lines. It was the truthfulness—and the exasperation—of these lines that initially drew me to the poem. There’s skill here in an unobtrusive use of assonance and alliteration—listen for ‘e’ and for ‘c’ and, in the penultimate stanza, ‘d’—that carries the emotional energy. I admire how that stanza makes a metaphor of the song-borrowing jay in order to show us the reality of the speaker’s situation.