The If BorderlandsCollected Poems
This new collection includes all the poems that Partridge prepared for publication during her lifetime as well as a selection of poems that were left in manuscript at the time of her death.
In their ample, embracing, nuanced appetite for sensory experience, [Partridge’s] poems achieve an ardent, compassionate, and unsentimental vision.
—Robert Pinsky, The Washington Post
Partridge’s impressive poems pursue a careful thinker’s yearning for abandon, a loyal friend and partner’s wish for change. Attentive to fact, to what she sees and knows, Partridge nonetheless makes space for what is wild, outside and with us—for the fears and the blanks of chemotherapy, for sharp variations within (and without) frames of meter and rhyme, and for the welcome consistencies of married love. She has learned detail work, and patience, from Elizabeth Bishop, but she has made other virtues her own: riffs on familiar phrases open startling vistas and even her love poems get attractively practical. Hers is a welcome invitation: let’s listen in.
Partridge is a technical wizard for whom thinking and feeling are not separate activities. She is a hawk-like observer of the particular...many times ascending to pitch-perfect verse.
—Ken Babstock, The Globe and Mail
Elise Partridge is a poet of brilliant precisions. Each line presents a new, glinting angle of thought. [Her] poems—good, tangy, and chunky on the tongue—somehow reflect life’s plenitude while maintaining their own spareness and balance. The result is an art of eerie compassion.
There is no cynicism or pretension here, only the authenticity that comes from careful study of both word and world.
A fully formed voice speaks in these poems that invite us to share their closely observed particulars—a hospitable voice, full of intelligence, good humour, candour, engagement. Each poem commands attention. Exemplary.
—Robyn Sarah, National Post
Reading [Partridge’s work], I find myself marveling at the luck of each person, place, thing, or circumstance, to have Elise Partridge’s exquisite and precise attention. And how lucky we are to get to listen in as she offers each of them her flawless ear.
Elise Partridge brings the most mundane moments vividly to life.
—The Vancouver Sun