”In addition to her marvelous craft and her patent relish of language, Dawn Potter impresses by the sheer range of her enterprise. She can write about Paganini and Otis Redding, compose wrenching narratives (“Mr. Kowalski”) and witty conceits (“Love Poem from a Tiny Husband”), terse, almost haiku-like lyrics (“Dooryard”) and gritty realist observations (“Walking into Town”). But whatever her approach, the poet is marvelously and rightfully self-assured, and the reader is immeasurably schooled in what our world is about in all its facets. A brilliant collection!”
—Sydney Lea, Vermont poet laureate (2011–15)
“In Accidental Hymn, Dawn Potter masterfully demonstrates how opposites can be counterparts and how poetry can rise from that tension/partnership. Potter bends syntax into distinctive harmonies and bangs songs loose from the everyday world, as if it were a can she’s playing with the stick of her resolute gaze. This is a fascinating and engaging collection, full of immediate pleasures and the deferred joys that visit a reader long after reading such a book as this. Accidental Hymn is a serious delight, virtuosic and welcoming at once.”
—BJ Ward, author of Jackleg Opera
“I’ve long been familiar with Dawn Potter’s work, and I knew this collection would showcase her careful tending of the poetic craft, would express the singular view that is present in all of her books. What I was not expecting was this explosion of power—all of it contained, just enough, to keep the covers of the book in place. This is the poetry collection I have been waiting for. As Robert Frost said, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” Accidental Hymn is alive with power and surprise and thrums with the energy of complex life in the time of the pandemic.”
—Maudelle Driskell, author of Talismans
Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. She is the author of eight books of prose and poetry, and she lives in Portland, Maine.