Advance Praise for Ambushing Water:
Danielle Hanson must be the incarnation of Gaston Bachelard’s ideal poet, a poet who acutely observes a world as she makes it new. With a vocabulary of images as diverse as slugs, animals, flowers, constellations and emotions, as well as startling situations, she brings us a surrealistic vision that also reads like a rational explanation. A poem titled “Eating His Dead Wife” gives us one side, a bird eating the reflection of a building gives us another. When she travels, her succinct, epigrammatic descriptions reveal more than most poets can in much longer poems: “The cobblestones were tense and/ looking for crumbs. The sea / waiting to devour the sun,” she says about Puerto Angel. This is an amazing first book, book I cherish, for every page I turn makes me see the world differently, astoundingly, reverently. It’s a book that never ends.
- Richard Jackson, author of fourteen books of poetry including Traversings and Out of Place
Danielle Hanson’s new book Ambushing Water has a deliberate clarity that vibrates through her music and imagery like a crystal glass tapped gently with the bright butter knife. Danielle has always written the most original, provocative yet inevitable love poems. She is simply brilliant.
So often in this collection, the circumstance in a single poem offers an unlikely though compelling route into intimacy—“eating his dead wife’s ashes/in his cereal every morning” for example—until the circumstances build to near breaking and the poems show themselves as a constant, valiant, smart struggle to keep the always-vulnerable speaker above water. So many new words are quietly and easily introduced to the world—earthfish, rainstars, mooncat, slugquistadores, sky-puddles—which seems appropriate in these efforts at finding new places to find purchase, new ways to hold on. The poems repeatedly find that new ground, and as readers we hold on just as firmly as the speaker every time.
- Alberto Rios, Arizona's inaugural Poet Laureate and author of A Small Story About the Sky and The Dangerous Shirt
Ambushing Water is compelling in its restraint: lyricism is deepened and amplified in these often short, always indelible poems. Danielle Hanson writes of the mysteries of the natural world: “How laughable is the moon / as an equal sign.” This interrogation of worlds, inner and outer, the self and the earth, gives this collection its transformative power and renders everything new and strange and beautiful.
- Paul Guest, author of My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge and The Resurrection of the body and the Ruin of the World, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers series author
Finalist, Brick Road Poetry Award (2016)
Finalist, Codhill Poetry Award (2016)
Semifinalist, Richard Snyder Publication Prize (2015)
Finalist, Robert Dana Prize for Poetry (2015)
Finalist, Blue Lynx Prize (2015)
Semifinalist, Miller Williams Poetry Prize (2015)
Semifinalist, Codhill Poetry Award (2015)
Finalist, Robert Dana Prize for Poetry (2014)
Semifinalist, Crab Orchard Poetry Series (2014)
Semifinalist, The Washington Prize (2014)
Finalist, Blue Lynx Prize (2014)
Semifinalist, 42 Miles Press Poetry Award (2013)
Semifinalist, Crab Orchard Poetry Series (2013)
Finalist, Codhill Poetry Award (2013)
Semifinalist, 42 Miles Press Poetry Award (2012)
Semifinalist, Elixir Press Antivenom Award (2012)
Runner Up, Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize (2011)
Semifinalist, Crab Orchard Poetry Series (2011)
Burningword Literary Journal: Recommended Reading
Eyedrum Periodically, Echoes in Language, in Themes Review: Danielle Hanson, Ambushing Water – Miriam C. Jacobs: "Rather than nature’s astounding the speaker, it is she who takes nature by surprise . . .I enjoyed Ambushing Water and will read it again . . . Hanson is a talented writer whose peak is still ahead."
Jackie Craven, Goodreads: "In this short collection, I encountered gasp after gasp of discoveries. The images are strange and precise, surreal and darkly comical. . . After gulping down fifty poems in a single sitting, I felt the world had tilted. Days later, visions keep swirling in my mind. Now I want to go back and savor the book more slowly, if I dare. Sleep hides in the corner 'afraid of the dark as a nightmare / crossed the sky'...."