Michelle Menting

Michelle Menting (Poetry) | Hope, ME

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Michelle Menting grew up in the northwoods of Upper Michigan and Wisconsin. She is the author of the full length poetry collection Leaves Surface Like Skin (Terrapin Books), and two poetry chapbooks. Her writing has been featured in Cimarron Review, The Offing, The Southeast Review, DIAGRAM, and American Life in Poetry, among other places. She is the recipient of awards from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bread Loaf-Orion Writers’ Conference, Hill House Artist Residency program, Hewnoaks Artist Colony, and the National Park Service Artist-in-Residence program where she served as poet-in-residence on Isle Royale National Park. She serves as assistant editor of Split Rock Review and lives in Maine.


Leaves Surface Like Skin (Terrapin Books, 2017). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

In Leaves Surface Like Skin, Michelle Menting articulates gorgeous, strange visions of nature inflected by human interference. A forest is interrupted by a graveyard of Bob’s Big Boy statuettes; ruling cockroaches populate a nuclear fall-out film; lichen becomes litter; a horse and farrier practice their choreography, as he “let[s] her lean on him, her hips cocked, almost delicate.” These poems teem with litany, landscape, literal and figurative image; an awareness of mortality hovers, not so much afterlife as underlife. Menting has a gift for moody and luminous phrasing: “For some, the world is wood tick wicked.” There’s magic to a collection that does such heavy lifting with a light touch.
—Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves and I Was The Jukebox

Michelle Menting’s poetry boasts that enviable combination of fierce intelligence and power. She writes poems about the way we remember the rituals of a society that continue to mystify, and she manages to produce brilliantly inventive phrases. At times her poems explore violence and trauma, but when they do, it is without sensationalism; and if there is alarm, it is the kind that settles on us with the inevitability of our human and necessary impulses. There is no flashiness to her verse. But there is plenty of craft, plenty of mannered understanding, and blessedly, plenty of heart.
—Kwame Dawes, author of City of Bones: A Testament

Michelle Menting is a poet of place. In her poems we meet newcomers to prairies and cornfields, women longing for the calls of loons. They live in a cropland for longing, rooted in “Land we did not own but that owned/our souls in its soil.” Here we are introduced to the girl rural and quiet, scuffing messages to beings flying overhead. How lucky we are to read these poems, these rich and musical words.
—Peggy Shumaker, author of Cairn and Just Breathe Normally

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