< Back

Connie Wanek has released three books of poetry. She also co-edited the first comprehensive anthology of Minnesota women poets, To Sing Along the Way.

Bonfire
Paperback, 96 pages
New Rivers Press; 1st edition (June 1, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0898231787
ISBN-13: 978-0898231786
"Wanek's poems have a clarity and sureness that give the reader a feeling of joy, the joy of a shared experience and insight, the joy that comes in the recognition of a truth, a rightness...Her poems take the moment, turn it upside down, open it, examine it. They give us a view from the dragonfly's eye. They show us the beauty, the humor, the danger we might have missed."

-Louis Jenkins


"Wanek is superb, mature, a master of mood and language."

-Bart Sutter


Hartley Field
Paperback, 80 pages
Holy Cow! Press (September 1, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0930100999
ISBN-13: 978-0930100995
"Wanek notices everything, from a look that passes over her daughter's three-year-old face to the way a nail stands waiting for the hammer to descend...she seems to be the best possible combination of an Elizabeth Bishop and a Marianne Moore."

-Joyce Sutphen


"Wanek is from Wisconsin, but her sensibility often seems Eastern European or Scandinavian. Like Szymborska, Wanek likes to end poems with poised yet cutting observations or intimations of dread that can turn ordinary activities into existential dilemmas."

-David Orr


"When Connie Wanek quotes Robert Bly who said, 'It's good to have poems that begin with tea and end with God,' she could be describing the movement of many of her own poems which may start with a lemon or a field of barley, continue on their quirky journey, and end with at least a touch of wisdom. For though there is humour and irony here, there is also a bedrock of family feeling, of regard for the past and acknowledgement of death waiting ahead. These are truly original poems, enriched by metaphor and lit by a hard won optimism."

-Linda Pastan


To Sing Along The Way
Paperback, 245 pages
New Rivers Press (October 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0898232325
ISBN-13: 978-0898232325
The first historical and contemporary anthology of Minnesota women poets, this anthology is edited by three prize-winning poets. Poems included range from the earliest poetry in Minnesota-oral song-poems of Ojibwe women-through the sounds and rhythms of early-twentieth-century formalism and contemporary free verse.

Arranged chronologically, these disparate poems are connected by the common thread of universal themes and reflect Minnesota's diversity of women's voices. Among the more than one hundred contributors are Harriet Bishop, Candace Black, Frances Densmore, Elaine Goodale Eastman, Mary Eastman, Louise Erdrich, Diane Glancy, and Patricia Hampl. Contributors' biographies and suggestions for further reading are included.


On Speaking Terms
Paperback, 96 pages
Copper Canyon Press (January 15, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1556592949
ISBN-13: 978-1556592942
"Wanek is a natural. Her carefully crafted poems have a delicious artlessness about them, even as they take us in and lift our neck hairs with the unexpected aptness of her metaphors."

-Maxine Kumin

To read Connie Wanek's third book of poems, On Speaking Terms, is to enter a world where common objects and occurrences--umbrellas, popcorn, Scrabble, walking to work--are transformed into tender poems of startling metaphors and wry wit.

"Connie Wanek...speaks in a calm, sober voice to those who can hear. Her images are often gorgeous. She uses our and we beautifully, and we do feel that we, the readers, are a part of her family."

-Robert Bly


Summer Cars
Paperback, 64 pages
Will o' the Wisp Books (January, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0-9793128-6-1
Summer Cars is a collection of ten stories, each of which revolves around a car that materializes up north as winter and its hardships give way to spring. It's finally safe, when the salt is off the road, to take a vehicle that matters out for a spin.
"These cars, and the people who care for them, are so telling, and the stories are narrated with such calm, lyrical efficiency, that I was completely immersed in their world."

-Charles Baxter

"Each story begins in white heat and keeps going, with wit, grief, tenderness, and irascibility, too. Life isn't fair, never was, never will be. But oh, how we love our cars, our roads, and the old tools left in the garage!"

-Patricia Kirkpatrick