Voices from the American Land

c. Katherine Christie Wilsonc. Katherine Christie Wilson
c. Katherine Christie Wilsonc. Katherine Christie Wilson

Annie Finch

Annie Finch

Click here to purchase Annie's chapbook,“The Voice Was the Sea.”


Annie Finch traces her family’s roots in Maine to the 18th century. Born in New York, she has summered in Maine most of her life and lived there year-round for eight years. Finch’s books of poetry include EveCalendars, The Encyclopedia of Scotland,  Among the Goddesses, and Spells: New and Selected Poems.  Her poetry appears in Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Yale Review, The Norton Anthology of World Poetry, and The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. She has also published many influential poetry anthologies and poetry textbooks, most recently A Poet’s Craft. Her music, art, theater, and opera collaborations have shown at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Chicago Art Institute, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Finch's book of poetry Calendars was shortlisted for the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year Award, and she has received the Robert Fitzgerald Award and the Sarasvati Award. She holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Houston, and Stanford University, and currently directs the Stonecoast MFA program in creative writing at the University of Southern Maine.


“Annie Finch is an American original . . . the directness and simplicity of her poems are deceptive — they have depths and delights that appear to go on forever.” — Ron Silliman


Illustration by Frank McCullochCover Illustration
by Katherine Christie Wilson

Illustrator Katherine Christie Wilson has lived in Maine all of her life and has enjoyed exploring and painting the coastal area near her home on Penobscot Bay. She served for many years on the Conservation Commission. Now retired from a career in education, she splits her time between New Mexico and her summer home on a lake in Northern Maine. She is a graduate of Colby College, where she majored in English and Art. She also attended the Portland School of Art, now the Maine College of Art, and earned her Masters Degree from the University of Maine. She works primarily in oils and watercolors, but has done silk painting, serigraphy, and painting on ceramic tile. Her work has been featured in galleries in Portland, Rockland, Searsport and Bar Harbor, Maine.


“The poems of this chapbook are not simply interrelated. They are one vision, one response to the mystery of fire and rock and water and wind/Sun and earth and ocean and air that bless us with the constancy of the moon-tide’s endless pull, the grey anchor of rocks and the wind’s fickle symphonies.”
— from the “Introduction” by Renny Golden

Renny Golden’s book of poetry, The Hour of the Furnaces, was nominated for a National Book Award; her new book of poetry, Blood Desert: Witnesses 1820–1880 (Nuevo Mexico in the 1800s), was published in 2011 by the University of New Mexico Press.


Poem by Annie Finch:

THE VOICE WAS THE SEA
I picked my way nearer along the shocking rock shelf,
hoping the spray would rise up to give me myself.
Seagulls reared louder and closer than anything planned;
I looked out to see, and forgot I could still see the land.
Lost in a foaming green crawl, I grew smaller than me.
Shrunk in a tidepool, I heaved, and I wondered. The sea
grew like monuments for me — each wave and its coloring shadow,
bereft, wild and laden with wrack, spoke for me and had no
need of my words any more. I was open and glad
at last, grateful like seaweed and glad, since I had
no place on the rocks but a voice, and the voice was the sea.

—Two Lights State Park


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