Getting Home from Here by Anne Ward-Masterson
Getting Home from Here offers forty-seven stunning, thought-provoking poems covering a woman’s life whose personal history reflects much of the ethnic complexity, familial joys/sorrows, social strains, and natural beauty of the U.S. Anne Ward-Masterson writes of her New Hampshire girlhood, Wading into cool water/sinking soft sediment of the river bed oozes/sucking at our toes. And of Alaska, her home now, Spring cries storms against/My window all through twilight/Sunrise brings damp calm. Anne also calls out the racist history of the U.S. which foisted shame and confusion upon her mixed-race childhood but is now a source of pride. An inspiring and compelling read.
—Kerry Dean Feldman, author of Alice’s Trading Post: A Novel of the West, and poems in The Woman Within: Memory as Muse
In Getting Home from Here, especially her poems about race, Ward-Masterson calls out schools, the military, and people who make assumptions about her. She questions how people perceive blackness ("why won't I tone it down?"). She describes the cab of a pickup truck or a riverbed with equal clarity through sensory language. Her natural, occasional rhyme threads a consistent, melodic quality through several moments of soft, poignant sadness. Her devices hit their mark. An ecological element eases the pain: bees alight on her arms: "let nature heal the wounds it did not make." A rewarding read.
Cirque Press Author — Anne Ward-Masterson
Anne Ward-Masterson grew up in New Hampshire in the tame woods, fishing, canoeing and swimming in the Lamprey River and reading books on cold rainy days. Attending Brandeis University and later marrying into the USAF gave her a broader view of people, religions and food. She currently resides in Eagle River, Alaska, where there are no tame rivers or woods.