Salmon Poetry, 2007
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“The poems in Still Listening depend on memory and dreams as their inexhaustible source. They describe a sense of living between two worlds - the romantic America of childhood and the folklore of the remembered Irish past. 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 humor 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.”
–Samantha Hunt, Seven Days, Burlington, VT, September 22, 1999.
“Patten explores the disorientation of living an ocean away from her family of origin. The sounds of language in America, even though the words are English, are foreign. …Like the tide, Patten goes back over and over, pulled in her poetry to keep touching the shore she left… "Still Listening" is a double string of singing poems. It gives off a most pleasing sound, the kind that deepens with re-reading.”
–Francette Cerulli, The Times Argus, Vermont, February 18, 2000.
“… It is invariably the mark of a good storyteller that she or he is first a good listener: Patten is definitely such a poet, and her collection is aptly titled. Her ear records not only the verbatim sense of her speakers, but the patterns, inflections, and nuances of their speech as well. Her poems are, foremost, narrative works in the melodic Irish oral tradition, works meant to be listened to as well as read…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.”
A poem from Still Listening: Saying Goodbye