Cathryn Hankla



Cathryn Hankla's tenth collection, "Not Xanadu", confronts the recurring imprint of the past--culturally, environmentally, and personally. In innovative poems that reclaim and reinvent traditional forms, reversing haikus and truncating sonnets, Hankla's recognition of resonance and presence evolves as a runner moves through a familiarly strange landscape evoking memory without evading keen observation. The poet reminds us that things are not what they seem on the surface or at first glance, not the coal train, nor the sparrow, nor the lover, and over time even the surest meanings and interpretations shift. In these cogent, lyrical poems, Hankla invites the reader's feeling, introspection, and renewal, in acknowledging the natural world as both balm and responsibility, mysterious and fragile. A trusted seer, fellow traveler, and witness to wonders, Hankla presents the urgency of lives, human and not, at fraught intersections of place and time. What this world is not and what this world can be: Like a divining rod, her powerful poems find the living water, enter and possess you, offering rare moments of irrevocable possibility and spiritual lucidity.


Cathryn Hankla is the author of fifteen books, including "Fortune Teller Miracle Fish", "Galaxies", and "Lost Places: On Losing and Finding Home". She is Hollins University professor emerita of English and Creative Writing. Hankla serves as Poetry editor of "The Hollins Critic", exhibits visual art at Market Gallery in Roanoke, Virginia, and offers writing consultation.