Brenda Leifso’s Wild Madder is about way-finding — through those moments in which you no longer recognize where you are. It’s about not knowing — who you are anymore, how to be in the world, how to love. It’s about what’s unspoken and about what speaks — conversation with the wild and animate world. It’s about marriage, family, motherhood — the drudgery in them and the quiet beauty.
This is lyric poetry wracked with pain, rage, and longing. In the beginning, the collection may read as though it’s been steeped in bitterness. Family can ask everything of a partner and parent and then turn around and take even more; Wild Madder feels like a note in a bottle washed up on the shores of a rough sea. But Leifso is not one to stand still or cling to darkness; in fact, we end up so far into the darkness that when she breaks through into light, it’s a conflagration of all the things that make us human.
These frank, bracingly recognizable poems will be irresistible — and cathartic — for anyone who has ever felt their life chewing them into little pieces.
Praise for Wild Madder:
“Brenda Leifso writes fearless poetry. Wild Madder turns the domestic inside out, revealing the ‘promise of thunder’ in the familiar. Hers is a generous voice, yet at the same time it is a charged one, calling us into the ‘long-toothed sun’. This is a book of fierce delights.” — Anne Simpson
Poetry Review by Jay Ruzesky — The Malahat Review