Winner Cowles Poetry Prize
Publication: September 1, 2015
“Angie Macri knows the grip of past and place. She knows how “We can’t help what the stars / say we’ll be,” and the alchemy that makes us who we are. She’s a myth-maker, a truth-teller, and a raiser of the dead — all through language both lucid and strange. Underwater Panther is a terrific book.” —Katrina Vandenberg, author of The Alphabet Not Unlike the World
“The poems in Angie Macri’s gorgeous debut collection Underwater Panther have at their center landscape and place, exploring and excavating the neglected geographies of the Mississippi River and the communities that settled along its sandy banks. The poems seamlessly blend mythology with history to create a new kind of pastoral, part elegy, part ode, and all heart. These poems will wear you smooth as a riverbed rock in the timelessness of our impermanence.” —Stacey Lynn Brown, author of Cradle Song
“The poems in Underwater Panther by Angie Macri are exemplary. A treasure exists in every line beautifully crafted by a talented poet who knows and loves a place. The poetry is an homage to the Mississippi River and the land and people it has touched and shaped, their stories rich with detail, human passion, grief and celebration. The voice of the book is mature yet abounds with wonder and imagination. Macri’s vocabulary is inventive, accurate, and lyrical in its composition. Each rereading will be like the first, fresh and new with stunning and touching poetry.” —Pattiann Rogers, author of Holy Heathen Rhapsody and The Grand Array
“In lush lines dense with imagery, Underwater Panther offers a journey through Little Egypt, a section of southern Illinois, as seen through the eyes of an inquisitive “dark-eyed girl.” There is elegy here for the “fathers who never seem to speak” and the mothers always trying to spare their children from inevitable suffering. There is elegy, too, for the land itself as the speaker acknowledges that the power held in the land, in the coal and in the river’s currents, like the myth of the underwater panther, might be contained, but never tamed.” —Sandy Longhorn, author of The Alchemy of My Mortal Form
Bow and Arrow, 48”x36”, oil on canvas in the collection of the Central Arkansas Library System
Katherine Strause is a working artist and educator. She exhibits nationally and has work in many public and private collections. Ms. Strause is currently Chair of the Art Department and Associate Professor of Painting at Henderson State University.
Angie Macri was born and raised in southern Illinois, where her mother’s family has lived for more than two centuries. After studying at the University of Arkansas, she has worked in Arkansas as a technical writer and educator. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs.
Her poems have been included in Arts & Letters, Best New Poets, Cimarron Review, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, New Madrid, The Southern Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and other journals. Her chapbook Fear Nothing of the Future or the Past, which works with H.D.’s Helen in Egypt, the mounds around Helena, Arkansas, and the paintings of Carroll Cloar, was published by Finishing Line Press. Underwater Panther is her first full-length book publication.
Links to publications, events, and more can be found at angiemacri.wordpress.com.