For years, I have been telling everyone I know about Rhina Espaillat's work, giving her books to friends as gifts, teaching her poems in my writing workshops, rereading them to renew my faith in the written word. She has been and continues to be one of my favourite American poets. This book displays her range - from exquisitely executed formal verse to wonderfully fluid and appealing free verse poems. Humorous and playful, astute and poignant, she never gets in her way - her craft does all the work and we delight in the results. The poems keep surprising me. Again and again as I read them, I feel deeply grateful to this wonderfully generous and skilled writer - by Julie Alvarez. Rhina Espaillat's immaculate verse is characterised by a bemused melancholy and serenity which are hard to find in American letters. A greater contrast to her contemporaries (and I believe her inferiors), Plath and Sexton, would be similarly hard to find.