Katrina Vandenberg is the author of Atlas and co-author of the chapbook, On Marriage. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Southern Review, The American Scholar, Orion, Post Road, Poets and Writers, and other magazines. She has received fellowships from the McKnight, Bush, and Fulbright Foundations; been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference; and held residencies at the Amy Clampitt House, the Poetry Center of Chicago, and the MacDowell Colony. She teaches in The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Author photo by John Reimringer)
In her highly ambitious second collection of poems, Katrina Vandenberg writes from the intersection of power and forgiveness. With poems named for letters of the Phoenician alphabet, and employing such innovative forms as the ancient ghazal, Vandenberg deciphers the seemingly indecipherable in this emotionally poignant collection. Moving between the physical and the abstract, the individual and the collective, The Alphabet Not Unlike the World unearths meaning—with astonishing beauty—from the pain of loss and separation.
“Vandenberg’s prosodic gift takes us to the breezy edge of the line. In traditional forms like the ghazal, witty alphabet poems, and cyclonic, free verse, she reminds us that truth already is slant, ‘Hell is holding onto a secret, some of us already know.’”