Erin Rodoni

Erin Rodoni (Poetry) | San Rafael, CA

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Erin Rodoni is the author of Body, in Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017) and A Landscape for Loss (forthcoming), which won the 2016 Stevens Manuscript Award sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, Cimarron Review, Drunken Boat, Verse Daily, Spoon River Poetry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and The Adroit Journal, among others. Her poems have also been included in the Best New Poets anthology, nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and honored with awards from AWP and Ninth Letter. She lives in San Rafael with her husband and two young daughters.


A Landscape of Loss (NFSPS Press, 2017). Stevens Manuscript Award, Poetry.
Body, In Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

for Body, in Good Light:

“I walk toward you barefoot,” writes Erin Rodoni, a poet who can speak with the same ease of private elegies and public journeys, of childbirth and of changing trains in Krakow, of grief on losing a loved one to cancer, and of “borrowed countries / where bougainvillea scales balconies // like a romance language.” Here is a book that journeys out into the world, and also inward—into the mysteries of private life, of the body, where “bliss, like a memory, can be unearthed by scent.” I love how wisdom enters the moment of passion in these poems, where we see ourselves living here, on this earth, “believing // in these bodies.” This is a marvelous debut.
—Ilya Kaminsky

The aesthetic that courses throughout Erin Rodoni’s sumptuous debut—tender and bittersweet, but also clear-eyed and unflinching—recalls Rilke’s ninth Duino Elegy, in which the earth’s dream is “to resurrect / in us invisibly.” That ache of regeneration and rejuvenation is made manifest in Body, in Good Light. In the section entitled “A Sort of Light We See as Flesh,” the poem “The Chapel” brings us to a woman’s memorial service, where Rodoni faces “an altar draped in fabric / that belongs to no faith.” At the end, though, she says: “We praise/ the faith of whatever machine // keeps the warmth in her hands.” By extension, that warmth extends to the poet, to those she holds dear, and, thankfully, to us.
—Thomas Centolella

Erin Rodoni’s debut poetry collection Body, In Good Light is a breathtaking tribute gracefully probing the wounds of grief, the joys of birth, and the intricate yet intimate connections between them. Body, In Good Light employs a variety of forms and a distinct striking voice to reel the reader into this well-crafted and heart-raw book of poetry.
Poetry International

Erin Rodoni’s Body, in Good Light has enough light to charm your eyes open wide but there will be tears enough before the end. Rodoni has poems built on sustained intensity but without any anxiety, passion without pontification. . . Erin Rodoni’s Body, in Good Light is flat out excellent. You should give a copy to every woman you know. Wouldn’t hurt any of the menfolk either.
—Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry

for A Landscape for Loss:

The sky is filled with alchemy and the streets with moped centaurs in this sorcerous, punning, occasionally flamboyant book focused on the author’s time in Vietnam decades after the war—Saigon turned into “Sigh gone, the sound / of something you never really grasped / leaving you.” It is a book that scratches at the gutter economics of sex work and “the ghost-itch of the war / that goes on where we can’t end it.” It is a book that like “the War Remnants Museum, formerly the Museum of American War Crimes” is filled with exhibits and atrocities and elegies, but also of the grace that also goes on and doesn’t end, and that swells, pregnant, with hope. It is an amazing book, one that shows us how much can still be gained from a landscape of loss.
—Tony Barnstone, Contest Judge

The poems in A Landscape for Loss are exquisite in their grasp of amplitude and absence, their graceful shifts of scale between the intimate and monumental, their ruminations of space journeyed through with ghosts, their ease in housing the paradox of birth and death in the female body mirrored in the vast, historical landscapes of loss and desire. Textured with the delicacy and strength it takes to bear the weight of life, this book by Erin Rodoni is a work of genuine beauty.
—Shadab Zeest Hashmi, author Baker of Tarifa

Every once in a while a book comes along that reminds me of why I read poetry, restores me in some deep way, and Erin Rodoni’s A Landscape for Loss is just such a book. Precise, deeply intelligent, often profoundly elegiac, many of these poems left me breathless:in their honesty, certainly, but also in their craft, their sense of line, their kinetic energy. Rodoni’s freshly metaphoric poems exist as if vertically layered, membraned in a glass through which both reader and author apprehend the world. The result is a journey that engages on every page–moves both mind and heart. I loved this book.
—Gerald Fleming, author of One.

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