Praise for We Ran Rapturous

Winner of The Atlas Review 2019 Chapbook Series

“A beautiful terror.”

Shannon Sankey’s We Ran Rapturous is an exceptional lyric achievement. It is a book ballasted and inspired by awe and grief. Sankey’s lyrical prowess is deceptively simple and this is because she is economical in her diction. Every word has its place, its history. In We Ran Rapturous, there is an intersection of disease, the lineage and litany of it. The color red stands for irritation, birds, continent, the elegant forms that shatter the heart with their truths and silences. This body of work is an offering. The language is deliberate even as—and perhaps because—it hangs slack. The poems are tightly wound the whole way through. To invert the warning of Yeats, a beautiful terror is born here. Beautiful, beautiful terror. Here it feels more like a dirge than a warning: ‘To make mother soup. Suck and choke of drain, again, she fills the city wells.’ Yes, born from the wreckage, We Ran Rapturous is the beautiful terror we need. — Natalie Eilbert, author of Indictus

“A remarkable debut.”

As if arrived from a far world where deep wisdom resides, We Ran Rapturous mesmerizes and intoxicates. Sankey’s intimate voice ushers us to an open window, with fresh eyes to look out, onto shifting home-places, psychological interiors, and a hyper-alert consciousness that both embraces and disavows disability. ‘I grind it to a fragrant talc/between my teeth, my morning vitamin.’ In that act of transformation the poet declares ‘I release the divination.’ Flights of mind, spells, healings and meditations, collide with the quotidian: ‘stale curls,’ ‘freesia oil,’ ‘fever of fried chicken,’ and ‘sacks/of coffee beans and hanging scarves.’ Sankey’s embrace of the surreal occurs ‘where long white porches/stay warm as ripe oranges’ and where the speaker, in thrall of and captive to her own body, prays for ‘Anything for the throb/of hanging down,/of swinging stupidly at the hips.’ There’s more. Sankey’s taut lyrics and shapely prose pieces create one of the most unusual braidings of the Persephone/Demeter story I have read. Sprung from the ancient and captive in the present, daughter and mother run on desire; reckless, joyous, and in fleeting largesse. Sankey’s double-portrait inhabits the tender soul-space she sings from in this remarkable debut. — Judith Vollmer, author of Apollonia Poems