I don’t know when Dana Guthrie Martin’s poems first confronted me. It was circa ten years ago, or a little before then. The first poem I really got into was probably “Hanging Out With David,” and I was happy when it subsequently made the pages of Canopic Jar. I liked it for the way it also touches your face as it talks to you with its sign language, for the way it doesn’t hide, and because of that, makes the reader the spectator that she should be. And so it is with many Dana poems.
One is constantly reminded of Plath’s in-your-face approach, and I’m not only talking about Plath’s mood as a writer, but the way she handed you feelings on a plate. You either take these instants and deal with them, or else you take these instants and deal with them. I am reminded of Dawes’s “Map Maker,” also, as well as “Death” – a poem should leave the reader with something: a taste, a smell, fear, mirth, wonder, any feeling, whether the poet intended it so or not. These poems win that bet.
In any case, the poems confronted me, the same way they are about to face you, and ever since then I have been following the writer and the person through her blog and by means of various social media. Like many people, I, too, look forward to her posts, and, especially, to her next book of poems.
Dana Guthrie Martin lives in Kansas City with her husband, Jon, and their beloved Chihuahua, Cricket “Miss B” Hayden. Her work appears in Barrow Street, Boxcar Poetry Review, Failbetter, Fence, Knockout Literary Magazine, and Vinyl Poetry. Her chapbooks include In the Space Where I Was (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012), Toward What Is Awful (YesYes Books, 2012), and The Spare Room (Blood Pudding Press, 2009). She is the founding editor of Cascadia Review, an online poetry journal dedicated to showcasing the work of poets in the Cascadia bioregion. Earlier this year, Martin was diagnosed with primary immunodeficiency. She thanks all blood and plasma donors for their life-saving donations to those in need. She blogs about poetry, health, and other topics on her site.