“Grace Bauer is a first-rate narrative metaphysician, telling stories as ideas and ideas as stories. . . . A keen inventiveness lights up every poem in this new and selected collection, in which the beautifully, uniquely observed detail exists not for its own sake but as one more clue leading us toward unsettling discoveries.”—Dorothy Barresi, author of What We Did While We Made More Guns
“Unholy Heart offers us a record of a poet, steadily, and with craft, deep reflection, wit, sensuality, and honesty—building a case for the dismantling of patriarchy through the challenge of persistent myths that undergird American culture, from the Bible to popular culture to art history to various mythologies of ancient and present mintage. With masterful use of ekphrastic poetry, persona poems, narrative poems, formal poems, and free verse, Grace Bauer’s body of work, presented beautifully and generously in this volume, is a welcome and important addition to the poetry of the Midwest, and to the poetry of America.”—Kwame Dawes, author of Nebraska: Poems
“In Unholy Heart we witness the unfolding of a life, a voice, and a spirit, often as the speaker inhabits other voices, from the biblical Marys to Marilyn Monroe, via iconic visual artists and their art, and via a range of landscapes, of homes seen anew. ‘What I once called home / today seems strange,’ Bauer writes as the biblical Ruth, and it is that perception and re-perception, and an intensifying openness to mystery and interior journeying, that characterizes this collection.”—Diane Seuss, author of Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl?