Diana Anhalt

Walking Backward

Walking Backward


These poems walk gracefully together, backward and forward—through the rooms of childhood, motherhood, and widowhood—from a shtetl in Russia and a 1912 steerage class crossing, to homes in the U.S. and Mexico. A master of specificity and musical language, Anhalt enables us to see and hear places, events, and family members’ idiosyncrasies (such as her mother’s infamous Venus flytrap memory). The collection bursts with humor, history, and heartbreak. Perhaps my favorite is “Homesick,” where the poet recalls the first home in Mexico that she shared with her late husband—scorpions / rallied in the bathtub and the bamboo/thrust through parquet floors—and now misses the words stripped from her tongue: the tu and the yo, the you and the me.

—Karen Paul Holmes, author of Untying the Knot and No Such Thing as Distance

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