These poems reflect an astute awareness of associations across time. A beetle crossing a tennis court brings to mind an infant crawling across the floor—one who’s now asking for the keys to the family car. A jar of golden honey draws readers into the murmur of bees and the scent of basswood flowers. In Earth’s Appetite, Hasse offers a lyrical paean to re-roofing a house and a humorous description of how a dog and its unemployed owner spend a day. Her extended ode to feet, “twin girls dressed alike,” possesses a Neruda-like simplicity and charm. The book shows Hasse’s longstanding mastery of striking imagery. “Rung by rung down the ladder of my backbone,” she writes, and “earth like a love tilts toward and away.” The book as a whole reminds us of the quirky ways that lives unfold, strengthening or breaking connections, offering unexpected turns and recurrent, familiar themes.
Margaret Hasse grew up on the edge of Vermillion, South Dakota. She traveled west to college at Stanford University where she earned a B.A. in English, then returned to the Midwest to make her home in the Twin Cities. Her M.A. is from the University of Minnesota, also in English. Her work has appeared in many publications and some unusual places, such as imprinted on sidewalks in the city of Saint Paul. Margaret has received poetry grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowships administered by The Loft Literary Center, The Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Earth’s Appetite is her fourth collection of poems. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with her husband. They are parents of two grown sons.