But I Won’t Go Out In A Boat


“These are not poems for people who do not acknowledge problems, or who see life as a gentle picnic beside a lake. The author speaks of tough situations in a deceptively simple way. The writing is powerful, and grounded in rural images; Chmielarz speaks of ‘light / that is hot and strong as irons.’ Mingled with the dark work are poems that are light, but she cannot escape the darkness. In ‘Taking a Snow Bath,’ the girl can become a bluejay, working snow into her feathers to clean herself, leaving ‘wingmarks, precise as knifecuts, / and the bad blood, pure.'” –Linda M. Hasselstrom

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Sharon Chmielarz, author of Different Arrangements (New Rivers Press, 1982) grew up in South Dakota. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with an MA in education, and degrees in German and English. Chmielarz, a winner of the 1982 Minnesota Voices Project, and runner-up for both the Bush and McKnight grants, lives in North Minneapolis with her husband Tad, and cat.


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