Michelle Menting’s poetry boasts that enviable combination of fierce intelligence and power. She writes poems about the way we remember the rituals of a society that continue to mystify, and she manages to produce brilliantly inventive phrases. At times her poems explore violence and trauma, but when they do, it is without sensationalism; and if there is alarm, it is the kind that settles on us with the inevitability of our human and necessary impulses. There is no flashiness to her verse. But there is plenty of craft, plenty of mannered understanding, and blessedly, plenty of heart.
— Kwame Dawes, author of City of Bones: A Testament
Leaves Surface Like Skin
Michelle's debut full-length collection, Leaves Surface Like Skin (Terrapin Books), is a 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist!
In Leaves Surface Like Skin, Michelle Menting articulates gorgeous, strange visions of nature inflected by human interference. A forest is interrupted by a graveyard of Bob’s Big Boy statuettes; ruling cockroaches populate a nuclear fall-out film; lichen becomes litter; a horse and farrier practice their choreography, as he “let[s] her lean on him, her hips cocked, almost delicate.” These poems teem with litany, landscape, literal and figurative image; an awareness of mortality hovers, not so much afterlife as underlife. Menting has a gift for moody and luminous phrasing: “For some, the world is wood tick wicked.” There’s magic to a collection that does such heavy lifting with a light touch.
— Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves and I Was The Jukebox
Michelle Menting is a poet of place. In her poems we meet newcomers to prairies and cornfields, women longing for the calls of loons. They live in a cropland for longing, rooted in “Land we did not own but that owned/our souls in its soil.” Here we are introduced to the girl rural and quiet, scuffing messages to beings flying overhead. How lucky we are to read these poems, these rich and musical words.
— Peggy Shumaker, author of Cairn and Just Breathe Normally
“These poems give deft lensing into particular location, localization, sonically seamed in echolocation...”
— Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, author of Streaming
“These poems sing the difficult songs of desire, but most importantly, this book ultimately reminds us to celebrate the vast and varied landscapes we encounter, even if we are “sent adrift and floating...” and that if we remember to love “the perfumed, the flowered, even the muddy and the streaming...” our reward will be the ability to discover beautiful testimonies about the small square of time we’ve been granted.”
— Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Lucky Fish
Myth of Solitude
This collection of 17 poems also includes an interview of Michelle by Naomi Shihab Nye!
"Absorbed, transported, stunned by wonder. Restored to a lush restlessness that tastes like a ripe peach and makes you look up with passion and foreboding, mixed, to the mystery of a night sky.
This is how I feel when I read Michelle Menting's poems."
— Naomi Shihab Nye
“Truth and beauty pour out of her thoughtful, sometimes gently playful, poems. ”
— Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems