Angela Patten's poems illustrate the notion that making poetry is the process of making the familiar strange, of drawing attention to a wisdom and humour that is intrinsic to everyday Irish speech. The poems in Still Listening come directly out of an oral tradition in which family troubles are turned into familiar stories that can be retold and relished again and again. It is these stories and their peculiarly Irish turns of phrase that lend a characteristic music and texture to the poems. Patten has spent more than twenty years trying to reconcile the inhibiting influences of the Irish Catholic church and her working-class roots with her affection for her Irish Catholic working-class family and the richness of her oral heritage.
"What a pleasure it is to pick up a volume that one can enjoy thoroughly, from the simple, evocative cover art to the last line of the final poem."
Angela Patten is an Irish expatriate, living in Vermont. A native of Dublin, she emigrated to the United States in 1977. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Vermont College in 1996. Her poems have appeared in poetry journals, including The Literary Review, Sojourner, The Women's Forum, Voices International, Markings and others. Her work is included in Onion River: Six Vermont Poets, published by Onion River Press, Vermont in 1997. Ms. Patten teaches poetry and is employed as Development Director of the Vermont Arts Council. Her collection, Reliquaries, was published by Salmon in 2008.