Ink Monkey is Diana Hartog’s first book of poetry in more than thirteen years and her patience is the reader’s reward. In these spare and elegant poems – not a word out of place, not an unnecessary syllable — Hartog turns a perceptive eye toward the stories of seemingly ordinary things, of overlooked moments and long-closed rooms. Whether she is writing about jellyfish, the desert, awkward silences that end a relationship, struggles of creativity, or Japanese prints, her poems are astute and beautiful.
Praise for Ink Monkey:
“… like Emily Dickinson, Hartog melds the ordinary with the visionary….” — Joseph Stroud, author of Below Cold Mountain and Country of Light
“Give Diana Hartog a subject – monkeys, frogs, jellyfish, or a Japanese printmaker on the Tokaido road – and she will play riffs that dazzle…. With an adhesive poet’s tongue, Hartog picks through her seemingly endless erudition for the humorous bits – Leda in a hotel room leaving her feathers in the ashtray – and yet she can crack the heart, as in the image ‘the grass… whipped every-which-way as if wild with grief. …’” — Rosemary Sullivan