Hotel Worthy 

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Check into Hotel Worthy, Valerie Nieman's new book of poems, and you'll never want to leave. There abides in its pages an uncanny past wrought into poems that spring from a memory - from a vast, liturgical acumen - that unites the dead with the living, restores the abandoned, returns the missing. Nieman knows the names of things, how those things piece together, how they sunder; and, while she refuses to lie, her truths are exquisite. This is a startling book. The language - its lyric nuance, its plaintive harmonies, its ceremonial beauty - is unforgettable. In the words of the poet, "Each blow of wood on wood / sets ripples on the water: / deo gratias, deo gratias."Deo gratias indeed - for Hotel Worthy. -Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina.

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