Poetry. Jewish Studies. Aging. "WORD HAS IT, by American poet Ruth Danon takes on the unease that has accompanied the troubling politics that have created so much disturbance in the last few years. The book launches the reader into a journey marked by foreboding and innuendo. In the first section the speaker proceeds on an uneasy path while a character named 'Word,' referring to herself in the third person, offers acerbic commentary along the way. In the second section, the speaker retreats first into the domestic, then to a deeper interiority in which a journey through the rooms of a house embodies a study of various states of consciousness that lead her to the recognition of her role as a poet. By the end of the second section, the speaker is ready to leave the interior space and venture into the third section, where she takes on the daunting poetic task of augury. The foreboding of the first section culminates in the violence that has been hinted at all along. Danon evokes language as backdrop, as foundation, as scaffolding—a quiet though inexorable landscape in which we witness our most cherished and frightening transformations."—Kristina Marie Darling"Ruth Danon gives us one of her most darkly oracular works...The poems are acid, ingenious, and unsentimental."—Andrew Levy"Deep and skeptical, natural and magical, melancholic and beautiful, Danon's oracle makes a truly compelling statement—one to be heeded, one to be savored."—Stephen Massimilla"Ruth Danon's extraordinary poems take us directly into states of feeling and perception that are subtle and profound...These are necessary poems."—Chase Twichell
Ruth Danon is the author of three previous books of poetry: Triangulation from A Known Point (North Star Line, 1990), LIMITLESS TINY BOAT (BlazeVOX, 2016), and WORD HAS IT (Nirala, 2018.) Her critical book, Work in the English Novel, was reissued by Routledge in 2021. She has published widely in the United States and abroad. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2002, Resist Much, Obey Little, (2017), Stronger Than Fear: Poems of Empowerment, Compassion, and Social Justice (2022) and will appear in the Poetry is Bread Anthology. She is founder of Live Writing: A Project for the Reading, Writing and Performance of Poetry. She teaches through Live Writing and for New York Writers Workshop. Since retiring from New York University in 2017 she has lived in Beacon, New York.