“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.'" -Natasha Trethewey
“DeNiord is a poet who stands firmly in a tradition that weaves Stevens’s philosophical daring to Whitman’s open and unending heart. Interstate is a gem of a book about the intersection of light and dark, joy and pain.”
“Interstate has a fierce engine that is both erotic and metaphysical. If readers look down its well and expect to see either their reflection or heaven as separate visions, they'll be disappointed. But if they want to see both, and can live in the shimmer, then this book is for them.”-Bruce Smith
“Here is a poet who goes again and again to the inherent beauty of nature only to realize human consciousness works like a wedge to divide itself from that which it would love. This is a book of wisdom and affection, and a necessary book.”-Maurice Manning
“Interstate navigates a world that is at once unsettlingly exterior and interior, as dreams underwrite the conscious perception of a realm equally strange and familiar.” -J. Allyn Rosser
The Double Truth
"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."
"Whether the language is rough and obscure or delicate and precise, this is Chard deNiord's finest book. Philosophical and passionate, he poses this question: within the enigma of life, how can we know? And who will not remember the ecstasy of love when reading his lines: 'We were in two places at once like a wire, stretched out between the cathodes of our desire. So bare and live the ether hummed like a swarm inside the air.'"
"'History, you know, is one thing and our lives are something else,' wrote Octavio Paz, and Chard deNiord's response to this in The Double Truth is both fascinating and instructive. The voice in these poems seems to have a cunning ability to see oneself as if from a distance. And so we are advised in 'Instructions for Telling the Truth,' 'begin by removing one article of clothing at a time...and suddenly you are standing alone in the square. It takes a brave voice to say, 'I prayed like a man and failed.' But to admit that, 'there's a fire / in the distance... although none of us / can see from here just what is burning' takes more. I opened the book on the poem called The Animals and I fell in love with its almost ecstatic reach. Anyone who reads this poem in the bookstore, or reads such poems as 'Memory is a Fire' or 'In the Brief Time We have Left' or 'Pomegranate' or 'From the Curriculum of a Serpent' will want to buy the book. This is compelling, beautiful poetry." -Ilya Kaminsky
"Very few contemporary poets render, as uniquely as Chard deNiord does, the sheer wonder of being. Our world shines up from his lines and sentences with all its original splendor and strangeness. In deNiord’s spectacular gaze, old binaries of reality and dream, bitterness and love, joke and revelation, fuse into a beautiful whole. deNiord is a visionary and The Double Truth is a vital book." -Peter Campion
"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.” -Haydun Carruth
“Chard deNiord sees daily life in terms of eternity and interprets it in a modern rendition of the language of the Biblical psalmist, the language of intelligent and controlled ecstasy. In Night Mowing, deNiord seeks to live totally in the moment but with an abiding sense of the eternal, like the bird in his beautiful lyric 'To Hear and Hear,' which sings 'the same sweet song / again and again in the understory'. The result is terrific poetry.” -Andrew Hudgins
“At times narrative, at times pure song, these lyrics take the bucolic for their territory and trace the regular rhythms of season, day, the human pulse, and life span. Spiritual and primal worlds meet in a space best described by William Empson's late definition of the pastoral, wherein the complex finds expression in the simple and rustic. 'Earth is the right place for love.' Yes, and these poems are beautiful, essential reminders of that truth; boldly they speak to our broken times.” -Julia Kasdorf
Sharp Golden Thorn
"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." -Jean Valentine
"In an early poem in Chard deNiord's Sharp Golden Thorn he writes, 'I was the man in the fire that is his beloved.' Spoken from an abyss so universal and finally, so mythical, that their considerable risks become irrelevant, these poems truly negotiate the boundaries between our minds and our bodies; between our spiritual and skeptical selves; between the myth and its maker, the lover and the beloved: —between the many singers and the single singed heart. To return from such a place is no small task. To be able to write about it is no small gift. This is a remarkable book." -Jane Mead
"Here is a heavy book, a voice from a walled garden, the meditation of one wrestling with knowlege and ignorance, the end product of a long and rigorous alchemy." -Li-Young Lee
Asleep in the Fire
"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." -Jay Parini
"In these spry and thoughtful poems a splendor of loving irony embraces deNiord's world, and it lights up with his warm, intelligent attentions. Here is the spirit's acumen made articulate." -Stephen Sandy
"In deNiord's work, it's not just the heart being examined by the mind, it's the mind being examined by the heart. There must be a place where the two of them meet--and live in peace. DeNiord's poems are an attempt to find that place."
Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs
"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." -Sven Birkerts
"Anyone who has read Chard deNiord's interviews as they first appeared in American Poetry Review and AGNI knows that he has conducted the most interesting and perceptive conversations with these seven major contemporary poets to appear in print. Added to them in this collection are three wise and readable essays on James Wright, Philip Levine and Elizabeth Bishop/Robert Lowell. It's a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in recent American literature." -Ed Ochester
"I think it's Chard deNiord's intelligence and empathy as a questioner which help his subjects--some of our best-known and most-respected senior poets--seem to make discoveries about themselves before our eyes. This collection of interviews about what it is to live and think as a poet, along with lucid critical essays, make for a very useful and also very lovely book." -Daisy Fried
Speaking In Turn
A collaboration by
Chard deNiord and Tony Sanders
"It's a delight to read and experience."
Contact Chard deNiord for purchasing information