Emily Ransdell, poet and author

One Finch Singing

“To grieve for anyone is to grieve for everyone,” writes Emily Ransdell in her debut collection, an exploration of personal loss against a backdrop of the larger losses of our time. Emily’s home is the Pacific Northwest — its beauty and fragility both loom large, even in poems that confront pandemic isolation, illness and the deaths of loved ones. These are poems that remind us that to be alive in this moment is to be aware of loss. Yet One Finch Singing is not a book of sorrows. In poem after deeply felt poem, Emily shows us that grief is a measure of love, and the two are inexorably linked. One Finch Singing is a collection that looks back in grief and forward in hope.

I read that finches can live on thistles, as if

to say, There’s hope.

One Finch Singing by Emily Ransdell, poet and author

Kind Words

“’Sometimes you have to tell a story / your entire life to get it right,’ Emily Ransdell says in this exquisite debut volume of poems. Though richly different, the stories—about family, about our fragile planet, about the ways loss takes its inevitable toll— together relate a single human story. When I read good poems, I may learn about a poet’s life. When I read great ones, I learn about my own. One Finch Singing is a book of such poems.”

—Andrea Hollander, author of Blue Mistaken for Sky

“A terrific book of poems that tells one woman’s story but tells it slant, in poems made of both fire and ice.”

—Dorianne Laux, author of Only as the Day is Long

“Emily Ransdell’s reflections on aging and the rehearsal of life’s challenges are both at once witty and deeply affecting for their honesty and beauty. Her deftly crafted lines reveal a poet of fine skill and imaginative power.”

—Kwame Dawes, MFA Advisor at Pacific MFA Program and author of UnHistory, co-written with John Kinsella

“Her poems about the climate crisis and its effects on wildlife are particularly moving and rich in sensory detail.”

—Donna Prinzmetal psychotherapist and author of Snow White, When No One Was Looking

“I was swept away by the taut grace of these lyrical narrative poems.”

Lana Hechtman Ayers, Managing Editor Concrete Wolf Press, author of When All Else Fails

“… so pictorial and pure and big and brave and kind. Many a heart will swell and say: ‘Yes, that’s love.’”

—Florence Sage, HIPFiSH Monthly poetry columnist and author of What to Do with Night: Poems

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