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Beneath the Portrait of a Horse

Authors: Cynthia Hardy

Published by Salmon Poetry

ISBN: 9781907056406

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The poems in this book are not all about horses. They are poems of longing, disappointment, and discovery, of the natural world bumping up against the man-made world, of the small places where we can find respite: the crack in a sidewalk, a conversation on a ferry, the taste of ginger or coffee.

Written over a span of years and in various locations, they reflect the poet’s impulse to find beauty in the mundane, and in the remote. The exotic location of many of the poems, Alaska, is made ordinary, comfortable, yet vital in these poems about living in a place and focusing on its small details.

The last lines of the last poem in this collection sum it up perfectly:
“This hard / world. Some / sweetness.”

Cynthia Hardy was born in Salisbury, Maryland and grew up in horse and farm country in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State University and holds an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi. A past recipient of an Alaska State Council on the Arts Individual Artist grant, she has published poems and stories in Permafrost, The Northern Review, and Ice-Floe: An International Journal of the Far North. Her chapbook, We Tempt Our Luck, was a finalist in the 2008 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Chapbook competition. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she teaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, dances, gardens and tends the horses that appear in these poems.
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