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About the Author
Wry and rue---it sounds like the recipe for a craft cocktail. But those are really the main ingredients in Ruth Maus's sly wise and expansive book, even or especially in the poems that really are about cocktails. Most of her poems are short--and a lot bigger than they seem, poems marked by gallows humor and a poker face, and with just a twitch of a tell that reveals how much lies beneath their surface.
-Michael Gorra, author of Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece
In Valentine, Ruth Maus offers a love letter to the world, powering her lines with the engines of parallel structure, formal play, and bright image. Using diction that is conversational, at times outright rollicking, we're invited into a world where "the righteousness of salt / on a monster margarita / sings psalm and hallelujah enough," while the speaker considers romantic temptations, one's call to art, and what lies ahead. This is a creative and sprightly collection.
-Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves
Witty and contemporary, Maus's poems are an energetic delight. Maus seems to blend the magic of the folk tale with the cutting crackle and static of modern life. The results are like blasts from the radio, when you turn the dial--each unique, each with something different to say.
-Kevin Rabas, Like Buddha-Calm Bird, Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2017-2019
There's a feistiness to Ruth Maus's Valentine that I love--not irreverence or contrarianism for its own sake, but a dissatisfaction with dominant perspectives. Look at the world again from this angle, the poems insist: How does it feel to be a fossil? Don't people play possum, too? What makes you think Humpty Dumpty wasn't a girl? Maus poses these sneakily metaphysical questions and then proceeds to answer them, with brio and poise, in the most extravagantly musical language.
-Eric McHenry, author of Odd Evening, Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2015-2017