2008 Winner of the Acorn-Plantos Award for People's Poetry
The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder is an unusual collection of poems that combines craft, innovation, humour and down-to-earth insight in a focused and riveting read that will charm poetry buffs of every stripe.
The poems in The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder subversively and imaginatively inhabit the voices of characters from Wilder's famous Little House books--human and non-human, animate and inanimate--but launch them in new directions. Rather than acting as extensions of Wilder's stories, the voices, characters and details in the poems become vehicles for modern-day questions and observations.
With titles like "Ma's Green Delaine Dress," "Mary's Fingers," "Pa's Rifle" and "Pa's Penis," the poems in The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder are anything but conventional. Peculiar, gripping and exquisitely crafted, The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder is an unforgettable new collection.
Sharon McCartney is the author of two previous poetry
collections, Under the Abdominal Wall (Anvil) and Karenin Sings the Blues (Goose Lane), and the chapbook Switchgrass Stills (littlefishcartpress). Her work has been published in numerous magazines and journals including PRISM international, Event, Grain, sub-TERRAIN, Prairie Fire, Iowa City and the Malahat Review. McCartney has an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and a law degree from the University of Victoria. She works as a legal editor in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and is poetry editor for The Fiddlehead.
"What McCartney ultimately expresses, again and again in a careful, crafted and accomplished lyric voice, is a girl's fury at the gap between a storybook world and a real world's disappointments."
-Sonnet L'Abbé, The Globe and Mail
"In Sharon McCartney's The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder, poems take on not only the voices of characters from the Little House books, but also the voices of animals and inanimate objects (wolves, rifles, a desk, body parts). This is a highly accomplished and tightly focused collection."
-Maurice Mireau, Winnipeg Free Press
"...I'm convinced of McCartney's engagement in her material. Her use of detail bring a whole world to life, and in the best poems she shows a keen ability to give voice to, for example, the wind...
"Clearly, this is a writer with imagination and tenacious vision...there's enough her to leave us wondering what McCartney will do next."
--Sue Macleod, Atlantic Books Today
"...McCartney's poems have plenty of lyrical snap, and they're often as slyly nuanced as they are entertaining. As "Pa's Big Green Book" puts it, in one dramatic monologue, 'Do you think you know / what I'm about? Think again. There's / an edge to each sheet of paper.'"
--Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star
"In...Sharon McCartney's The Love Songs of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the reader can spot at once the stretch to go beyond the original. McCartney gives voice to both the animate and inanimate, to the human and not human, to the object. She defines a world from as many perspectives as she can muster."
--Andrew Vaisius, Prairie Fire
"This is an accomplished, beautiful book. I can see myself returning to it many times. It's a must-have for Little House fans, and for other readers a fascinating journey into historical silence finally given a voice."
--Diane Tucker, PoetryReviews.ca