Preorder: Letters to Minnehaha Creek by Victoria Lin
After her walking partner dies of cancer, Victoria Lin addresses this series of poems to Minnehaha Creek as she walks through her grief alone, seeking connection with the world around her.
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Advance Praise for Letters to Minnehaha Creek
Victoria Lin’s Letters to Minnehaha Creek is a quiet and moving elegy to a walking partner of ten years and the cityscape they shared. Lin’s delightful compendium of the living creek’s reach into parks, gardens, alleys, and yards is a poignant tribute to the way friendship runs through us long after the friend has departed.
-- Leslie Adrienne, author of Y: Poems
“Do you notice // that I am alone? / Do you save anything? // Do you keep some / of the world in your watery // heart?” Victoria Lin asks the neighborhood creek early on, in this wise and lucid sequence of linked poems. Lin grieves the loss of her friend Dorothy, who used to walk this path with her and has recently died of cancer. For the next year, Lin continues to contemplate and remember her friend, retracing their old route alone. Yet Lin isn’t alone. She has the world, with its wood ducks and lawn ornaments, its human suffering and deep love. This is ultimately a radically affirming book. Victoria Lin is a poet of great heart and great skill.
-- Katrina Vandenberg, author of The Alphabet Not Unlike the World
We live these seasons of grief and renewal, sorrow and acceptance. We walk these paths, these streets and alleys with Victoria Lin. We are by her side when she writes her letters to Minnehaha Creek, imploring the creek to remember her friend who has died. We feel the deep longing in our narrator that the whole natural world be her confidante, her companion in sorrow. The poet writes: “I cannot have you / as you were before. Now I write / with the alphabet of grief.” This elegant, beautifully written collection of poems honors the depths of friendship, honors the good fortune of having a friend, despite the terrible loss. And Lin does not leave us adrift in grief. She sees the big world of a city, its ways of diminishing and protecting the natural world, and its people. She gives us, in language, the beautiful creek, itself on the move through its own seasons, allows us to see this world through the eyes of two friends who claimed it and revered it. This is a beautiful book.
--Deborah Keenan, Author of Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems