"In My Unknowing, Chard deNiord’s sixth collection of poems, we find ourselves in a world beheld by the spark of seeing, on the border of Platonic emission: a world of salt sorrow and red lust, coterminous with everything at once. To read these poems is to float at a holy distance over the earth, herein recognized as the heaven it has always been, as no other place would do for living forever. It is a world about to evanesce, but is as yet legible to us in these masterful poems, which are in themselves a species of musical awareness."
Interviews with 10 American Poets
“Interstate seamlessly connects the state of knowing, in a worldly sense, to that knowing that is deeply felt yet unbodied. The precise attention to the ordinary things of the world, and in particular to the natural world, gives way to the wisdom of the spirit undergirding these searching poems. Reading them, I felt the delights of language in each new revelation: ‘Words were all; / they came to me like birds to a tree.'"
"With philosophers and beasts for his confidants, deNiord accesses both eros and cosmos—the far reaches of love and eternity—with a companionable, searing exactness. These are quiet, bottomless poems of true consequence."
"Here is a poet with a truly extraordinary verbal imagination. His poems begin in the commonplace and rise-or soar, leap, swell-to the climactic surreal in a few lines. This is aptitude beyond technique, unassailable by the workshopping greenhorns. It is indeed a kind of ecstasy for every and any reader. I recommend Chard deNiord's new book as enthusiastically as I can.”
"This is a work of spiritual intelligence, rueful, loving, ecstatic: an everyman sings here of God, lover, nature, all one and shapeshifting, and sings at times with the simple beauty of the best southwestern country music."
"Asleep in the Fire is a brilliant first collection of poems. The language is everywhere fresh and bright, the words themselves like pebbles in a clear brook. The poet comes wonderfully to light with a voice with deep spiritual resonance. Chard deNiord is a splendid new presence on the poetry scene."
"Chard deNiord is master of the immersed conversation. Informed, curious, knowing when to contend and when to unbend, he meets each of his poets on the high ground of their art, and seduces from them their most closely-held wisdom. Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs is at once a schooling and a delight."
"It's a delight to read and experience."
Roads Taken, Contemporary Vermont Poetry
"Vermont tempts poets to epiphany by staying silent, or cold, or flinty, or dark, ironized their praise. Many people move to Vermont because of the idea of it, an idea that has proven remarkably durable over time: as these poems suggest, so powerfully do the daily necessities of living there, of surviving there, assert themselves. This is where Frost comes in: Frost's poems are the great rural instruction manual for neck of the woods. His influence is everywhere in the poems collected here, which so often take 'nature' not as an idyllic refuge but as a site of careful, strenuous, and repeated steps or actions. The Vermonters in this book come from and live all over. Roads Taken is a 'constellation of patches and pitches,' proof to me that Vermont will always require the imagination of its citizens to exist."