Rooms is a collection of new and selected poems by Diane Glancy. The rooms are spaces from previous collections – spaces influenced by memory and the pull of the past on the present. This collection of poems walks a line between balance and imbalance and struggles for an alignment of fragmented experiences. It tries to put into perspective the disparities of survival. It seeks to reconcile history and a broken heritage that results from a collision of cultures.
These poems, written from 1986-2004, include work from earlier collections, The Relief Of America, The Shadow's Horse, Stones For A Pillow, (Ado)Ration, Boom Town, Lone Dog’s Winter Count, Iron Woman, One Age In A Dream, Offering, and a chapbook, Coyote’s Quodlibet.
The title is taken from an idea, The Ames Room, which was a demonstration created by Dartmouth Professor Adelbert Ames in the 1940’s to show that we can look into an off-sided room, yet it will appear in proportion because the way we think something should be shapes our perception of it.
If the mind is a trickster shaping the misshapen into a familiar form and setting upright what has been turned on its side, what does a lopsided perception do? Does it skew what is not skewed? What if history, in this case, Native American history, has been turned on its side? How does the off-sided perception of the vanquished warp normal experience?
Rooms is a calling together of the tribes. These poems are a campground of voices in council.
‘Delivered by a voice at once tough and vital, shaped by a sensibility which is sharply aware of tragedy yet open to opportunity, these dry, exemplary poems are quite undeceived by this world – yet touching loyal to it.’ —John Redmond
‘Diane Glancy’s Rooms is a masterpiece of poetic clarity and “abstraction”: the clarity of belonging, of totemic relationship with land, animals, environment, and the spirituality of her people, but also the abstractions of Western thought that’s brought its aesthetic removals from what is. Glancy is a highly sophisticated poet of “both” worlds, of different heritages, but her Cherokee nation and responsibility call through all else – heritage becomes more than a storehouse of language and stories, it becomes the essence of language and belonging. This is a revolutionary work.’ —John Kinsella
‘To praise a poet’s eye has, on occasion, been deemed disingenuous praise, privileging, as it does, the poet’s precise but secretarial transcription of the visible. In Glancy’s case, the keen (and keening?) vision avails far more than is immediately apparent – correspondences both semantic and mythic, affinities both historic and current – bringing into view for the rest of us an exhilarating vista, a genuinely visionary scene in which we find, quite surprisingly, ourselves, seeing more clearly.’ —Scott Cairns
‘Diane Glancy creates memorable poetry in every phrase, gesture, metaphor, and tease of ordinary time and place. Rooms: New and Selected Poems is an occasion of delights and medicine.’ —Gerald Vizenor
‘[Glancy’s] poetry incorporates a lot of different formal strategies, including compound words, and a strategic use of spacing, italics, and captials.... Reaching back into the community and staying connected with one’s family seems central to [her] writing – acts that are fueled by the power of memory.’ —Jennifer Andrews