"Within the visual arts of painting and photography, Martha Ronk finds an undeniable presence lurking: silence. This character slips into pauses, hides between images, and expertly evades the grasp of language. Ronk shows us that what is hidden just off screen in these images might just be the force that gives them power. The poems in Silences seek possibilities of how to form language from a phenomenon that so earnestly resists it. Rather than coax silence out of hiding, Ronk’s poems respond to its mysterious presence through questions and conjecture.These poems endeavor to give a much-deserved voice to silence, addressing the power of what is not seen. While silence remains perpetually out of reach, Ronk invites us to follow the language that creeps up to its edges. The poems in this collection form an inquiry that moves through the presence of silence and reveals insights into the character of the visual art in which it lives."
Ronk has always sharply angled her gaze toward the world’s unlikely phenomena, revealing and reveling in the heat she detects underneath. In Silences she searches for and settles in pauses, stops, breaks, in-between spaces . . . She takes inspiration from, and writes about, great artists of interstitial spaces, such as Samuel Beckett, John Cage, Rene Magritte, Mark Rothko, and Vincent van Gogh, and meditations on the practice of ekphrastic art. . . . Ronk gets as close as one can, in these new poems, to dancing on the pinhead of now."
Craig Morgan Teicher, author of We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress