Ingrid Wendt


Finely crafted narratives and lyric meditations offer a host of small epiphanies arising from everyday life.

Reading at Portland State University

Poem of the Day, February 3, 2012

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A

Ebook, Paperback

ISBN: N/A Category:

Look Inside


This fine gathering of poems shows Ingrid Wendt’s genius for bringing her readers into a world that becomes theirs. Finely crafted lyric narratives and meditations offer a host of small epiphanies arising from everyday life: turning points in relationships, insights into our troubled world, and coming to terms with loss. Wendt is a master of metaphor who turns the mundane into poems that heal. A classical musician by training, she makes poems sing.

These poems, full of feeling, reward the reader with their musicality and wit. Wendt seems equally at home in form and free verse. There’s a well-wrought villanelle, a poem in unrhymed couplets that turns on a perfect metaphor, a retelling in skilled sestets of the old story of the fisherman’s wife. The first and last poems are capstones of a rich collection.

—Maxine Kumin, author of Where I Live

In this collection Ingrid Wendt sounds the depths of everyday experience and sings the mysteries she finds stirring there, bearing witness to the things that matter most—love, spirit, memory, mortality, the ache and wonder of being alive. The poems of Evensong are the true testaments of an ongoing lifetime of cultivated attention. They are ambitious in the highest sense, “defining maybe / more than we know, what we are too busy living / to say.”

— John Daniel, author of
The Far Corner and All Things Touched by Wind

“What is prayer if not these measures / in which the heart / can pour itself out, out, out?” and pour it does, in poem after powerful poem, with subjects ranging from the Bach Mass in B Minor to Titian’s Annunciation to Salmon Supreme cat food. Here are poems that are fully engaged in the news of the world, oil spills, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars (and their aftermath), yet there’s also “Benediction,” a poem so good it alone is reason enough to buy this book. Ingrid Wendt has “some words to toss in your direction,” and she throws them out like a lifeline.

—Barbara Crooker, author of
Radiance, Line Dance, and More




Part I.
Poem at Forty-Five
On the Nature of Touch
The Keeper of Secrets
The Fisherman’s Wife
Valse Triste
Maybe More Than We Know
After a Class in Seaweed
In the Tradition of Good Intentions
The Way It Was
Fertility Plant
And the Greatest of These
On the Nature of Bach’s B Minor Mass
Mother’s Day, Ellensburg, Washington

Part II.
Visiting Central School
Love in Venice
Fan Letter from the Fourth Grade
Split Couplets for John
Some Words to Toss Your Direction
Jade Plant in Split Couplets
All We Can Use
Tree of Joy at the Super
To a German Painter Who Asked about Poetry’s Open Forms
This Is His Story:

Part III.
Requiem for a Soprano
With Ninety-Eight Friends
One of Those Things
Lesson Plans, Vernal, Utah
Give Us This Day
Losing in the Mail My Years-Old Copy of Your Specially Autographed Book
Beyond Argument
Ashes on the Tongue
A Gathering


About the Author


Ingrid Wendt’s books of poems have won the Editions Prize, the Yellowglen Award, and the Oregon Book Award. The co-editor of two anthologies, she has taught in the MFA Program of Antioch University Los Angeles, and, as a three-time senior Fulbright Professor, in Frankfurt/Main and Freiburg, Germany. A popular keynote speaker and a poetry consultant, she has been a visiting poet at colleges and universities and in hundreds of classrooms, grades K-12, and conducts teacher workshops in the U.S. and abroad. With her husband, the writer Ralph Salisbury, she lives in Eugene and Seal Rock, Oregon. This is her fifth full-length collection.

Visit Ingrid's website.

Oregon Poetic Voices


Wendt’s collection of poetry, Evensong, is wistful and lovely, a profusion of small narratives that reflect Wendt’s musical background, her everyday world in and around Eugene and simultaneously a global perspective on life and loss.

—Camilla Mortensen, EugeneWeekly.com

We solve problems and find solutions, and these little victories carry us through life. Evensong is a collection of poetry from Ingrid Wendt, a life long follower of the arts. Through her works, she presents a positive image of the world that realizes it’s not perfect. Evensong is a fine assortment of verse, very much recommended reading.

Library Bookwatch, January 2012

These poems have religious imagery and religious titles, such as “Benediction” and “Sanctuary,” but the sacraments that they propose are centered in the human. Nevertheless, the yearning for continuance of some kind is movingly represented in these poems—belief seems to flutter in the margin. What is holy, and what endures? these poems ask. The answer is love, and art as its record. But how does love remain when generations love and pass away? Is there some way, some dimension in which no love—recorded or not—is lost? The poems suggest that there is.

Valparaiso Poetry Review

The poems of Evensong are the true testaments of an ongoing lifetime of cultivated attention. They are ambitious in the highest sense.

Literary License, February 2012

In Oregon poet Ingrid Wendt’s latest collection, Evensong, part of her method is to look at, think about, and write about something long enough so that, in the midst of carefully observed concrete description, she starts thinking about something else. And that something else, then, becomes what the poem was about all along.

Oregon English Journal, Fall 2012 (James Sullivan)

“The Poetry of Nonviolence,” Marilyn Krysl on Ingrid Wendt, Gently Read Literature, December 2011, p. 4.

Ingrid Wendt on Salvaging Lines

Opera review of Postcard from Morocco and Miss Havisham's Fire includes reference to Ingrid Wendt’s “On the Nature of Bach’s B Minor Mass.”

Blog “What do we do with these numbers?” April 30, 2012

You may also like…