"I really enjoyed reading these poems and, because I felt driven forward by them, read them all in one sitting. Part of the loveliness of it for me was the expectation of arriving at yet another arresting line-of being brought to a halt by something piercingly true expressed finely. I was also captivated by Risa Denenberg's contemplation of that place where our most fundamental concerns as humans-love, death, aging, sadness, and the mystery of it all-meet the natural world. I felt myself in the presence of a great honesty about things that matter, and in particular responded to the idea that, despite our existential plight-maybe even because of it-life is a thing of great beauty."
-David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars
"'It's too easy to look away, say nothing, ' Risa Denenberg tells us in what could be the mantra of a book that steadfastly refuses to do either - a book that takes hold of the reader's gaze and directs our looking at loss and hardship both personal and global, human and animal, physical and emotional. From apocalyptic kitten sonnets to a piercing series of selfie poems, Denenberg's wry, straightforward, penetrating voice is rebuke, meditation, and celebration all at once, gnarly and braided as the beloved trees she offers prayers for. 'Finding something to live for / is my talent, this small raft, ' Denenberg writes, and indeed amidst the sorrow, she keeps hold of us, pointing to the everyday, essential miracles of sustenance and small things, of clouds, of the simple and necessary plan to sing, as she does with fierceness and compassion, in gladness."
-Corrie Williamson, author of The River Where You Lost My Name
"In this honest and unflinching collection, Denenberg gives us poems that look at hard topics like extinction, climate change, aging, and loss, and tempers them with tenderness, vulnerability, beauty, and delight-delight in the moon, the face of a pet, powdered snow on cedars. Inviting us to grow 'passably fond of rain, ' Rain Dweller teaches us how 'Every day, the clouds amaze.'"
-Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate, 2021-2023, and author of Patriarchy Blues