Books


Just released, The Vagabond's Bookshelf:  In this luminous collection of essays, Potter considers her personal relationship with the books she has read and reread over the course of her life—works by Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and many others. Weaving her daily life into her reading life, her reader’s memoir is a celebration of our deep yet mutable relationship to literature and the world.








From Deerbrook Editions: A dozen craft essays on poems by luminaries such as Shakespeare, Dickinson, and Hayden. The detailed yet accessible discussions offer readers, writers, and teachers new approaches for engaging adventurously with both canonical and contemporary poetry.

“To be a writer, one must be a questing reader, forever seeking closer intimacy with the art; and talking about its details, whether in actual conversation or merely to oneself, can lead a reader down unexpected imaginative paths. The three actions are entwined: one leads to the other, leads to the other, leads to the other. Even if you think of yourself as more reader than poet, more teacher than reader, participating in all elements of the reading-conversation-writing cycle will help you become a more concentrated and flexible practitioner.”
from my introduction


From CavanKerry Press: My third collection of poetry.

"Potter's sustained acts of synthesis and transformation are an astonishing achievement." –Gray Jacobik

"Her deft formal skills, her self-questioning wit, and her brave infiltrations of ordinary experience with poetry’s cumulative resources illuminate every page of this memorable book."
–Robert Farnsworth

Judges' nominee for the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry

                                     Finalist for the 2015 Maine Literary Award in Poetry



From Autumn House Press: An anthology of writings about poetry from both ancient and contemporary writers including Homer, Plato, Aristotle, William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound, Philip Levine, Adrienne Rich, Gary Snyder, and Rita Dove.

“This anthology is…one reader’s record of the long human need to make poetry. For no matter how distant in time those individuals have become, reading about that need, in both their own words and the words of others, keeps our relationship with them intimate and immediate.”
from my introduction


From CavanKerry Press: My second collection of poetry.

"The poet's language is nearly physical in its intensity. Fearless and headlong, these poems sing in service to love, loss, pity, and hope." –Ellen Dudley

"John Keats might have been writing to Dawn Potter when he said, "There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music." –Meg Kearney





From the University of Massachusetts Press: My memoir about the two years I spent copying out all of John Milton's Paradise Lost word for word.

"Potter writes beautifully. Her prose is as clear as the song of a bell-bird. . . . Reading this memoir was an intellectual joy. I know a little about country things, a lot about children, and some, maybe, about how husbands and wives tumble through life. This book is the real thing." –Samuel Pickering

Winner of the 2010 Maine Literary Award in Nonfiction



From Deerbrook Editions: My first collection of poetry.

"It is a formal compositional elegance precisely balanced with a natural lyric expressiveness that defines the crafty grace that leads the way through Boy Land."
–Jeanne Marie Beaumont

"Dawn Potter looks hard at the world and describes it so acutely that we become aware of something hidden underneath it–and that something is often a sense of quiet menace." –Jeffrey Harrison



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