“Linda Dove’s exquisite collection of poems, This Too, reads like a diary but builds with the urgency of prayer. Inspired in part by the life and deeds of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Dove moves between styles and time-warps, reimagining the saint as everything from a metaphysical barfly, to a woman, to Atticus Finch. Such is the grace and humility of her work, the delicacy and craft. These poems are too healing to hide, Dove’s language too charged with light. “Happiness is only half a bargain,” she writes. It’s true. And you need this too.”
—Brendan Constantine, author of Dementia, My Darling
“In a world where angels are invented in the dark, where bread blooms miraculously from the hands of a patron saint of holy souls, our beloved Italian mystic stars in Linda Dove’s sequence of poems with dazzling austerity: hovering overhead with a lily of inviolate purity, designing his own tattoo, or visiting a blood-soaked abattoir, where he ponders whether it is “wrong to hold bitterness against the body.” With her signature lyric intensity, Dove investigates what it means for us to inhabit shattered lives, wherein healing, grace, and violence co-exist. At once elegantly allusive, inventive, and richly erudite, Dove fashions a luminous modern iconography for a reclaimed era: “I know that what we call a whisperer today was once called a saint.””
—Karen An-hwei Lee, author of Phyla of Joy, Ardor, and In Medias Res
“Linda Dove’s reflections, musings, strange and lovely imaginings around the 13th-century Italian saint engage the mystical with a touch of carnality, the savory temptations—and invitations—of the physical world. Here, things seem invested with a metaphysical presence and ideas seem as substantial as objects. Above all, these are beautiful writings, assured, alive with intelligence, and moving, always, through some half-foreign, half-familiar, wonder-struck landscape.
Linda Dove is the author of two prior award-winning books of poetry, In Defense of Objects (Bear Star, 2009) and O Dear Deer, (Squall, 2011), as well as the scholarly collection of essays, Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain (Syracuse, 2000). She holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and teaches college writing courses in southern California.