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 J o n i  W a l l a c e

Landscape With Missing River - Final Cover.jpg

 Barrow Street Press 2023 

Book Trailer  | Landscape with Missing River

Joni Wallace’s elegiac Landscape with Missing River is as sonically rich as it is lyrically alert. Insects “scrape and chew” in the “mandible grass.” “Grasshoppers rasp a too-bright opus.” A wildfire smolders into “notes of a fugue.” Toads “sound out a mercy chorus.” Landscapes shimmer with details chiseled to the essence of mourning: “Sleet comes, a shroud in verglas, ice / slivers falling // on fences, the clothesline. You are dead.” Grief for the dying father, who in one haunting poem “sees      the end of seeing,” glosses these spare poems with grace. This exquisite collection is utterly mesmerizing. --Cynthia Hogue, author of In June the Labyrinth


 A b o u t

Joni Wallace’s third full-length poetry collection is Landscape with Missing River (Barrow Street Press, 2023), recipient of the AZ-NM Book Award.  Other honors include Four Way Books’ Levis Prize for her second collection, Blinking Ephemeral Valentine, and fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Baltic Writing Residency. Work from her documentary poetry collection, Kingdom Come Radio Show, is anthologized in Privacy Policy, The Poetry of Surveillance (ed. Andrew Ridker) and has been featured by the Scottish Poetry Library and the Poetry Society of America. Joni’s poetry and hybrid works (sound, video) appear in such journals as Boston Review, Conduit, Connotations Press, Gulf Coast, Crazyhorse, West Branch Wired, The Volta, Interrupture, Laurel Review, The Drunken Boat, and Plume.  She holds an MFA from the University of Montana and a JD from the University of New Mexico. 

My Books

M y  B o o k s

Blinking Ephemeral Valentine

P r a i s e 

"In one of the first poems of Landscape with Missing River, Joni Wallace writes, “Look how the dead gather themselves/inside a landscape.” And so begins her series. Of exquisitely rendered elegies about Northern New Mexico where Wallace’s father, a scientist at Los Alamos and an outdoorsman lived and died. In these poems, Wallace’s father is gathered by her careful attention to his severe, stunning spaces, where, the poet says, “I spend a day there, listening.//I spend forever there, listening” and we believe her. How else could she write so precisely, beautifully about “April as an anvil” or “the sibilant trees”? In “The Air is Filled with Robots,” imagination pleasingly renovates the porch of her childhood home and then Wallace disintegrates it, catching herself in a lie. She offers us “[i]nstead, the wordless, grief-edged,/of erasure.”  Wallace’s poems offer us the natural world’s consolations, which are that the land has little and everything to do with human grief. Landscape with Missing River is must-read book for all of us haunted."


~ Connie Voisine, author of The Bower 

U p c o m i n g  E v e n ts
September 9, 2023
Featured Author
Printers Row Lit Get 
Chicago, Il
2 p.m. 
September 19, 2023

Reading/Book Signing


Albuquerque, NM

6 p.m. 

October 12 -14, 2023

Featured Author/Faculty 

ASU/Piper Center

Desert Nights: Rising Stars Conference, Tempe, AZ

October, 2023 

Gemini Ink, San Antonio, TX
(classes will be held October Tuesdays from 6-8 pm)

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