Hidden Drive

“That mysterious and visceral power that Lorca called the Duende is ever-present in the pages of this fine collection.”

(David Wojahn, author of World Tree

ForeWord Award

Chivas Sandage’s poetry has a lyric precision and terse musicality that any poet would envy, a grace with cadence and image that makes it all look easy. That capacity is all the more remarkable when we consider that the poems are often formed from the most difficult of reckonings—from a troubled family history, from the challenges of motherhood, and from the bewildering intricacies of Eros. That mysterious and visceral power that Lorca called the Duende is ever-present in the pages of this fine collection. As she writes in a poem entitled “Ars Poetica,” the written word is, for her, “Not an echo/but a force—bitter ink/pungent as blood. The pulse/of each letter quickens/as it presses against the page.” (David Wojahn, author of World Tree)

In Hidden Drive, Chivas Sandage presents an atlas of relationship—her  troubled Vietnam War photographer father, grandmother, daughter, a marriage that ends—in a voice both lyrically keen and so deeply philosophical her poems stand as a needed corrective to the poetry of confessionalism. Sandage looks at loss, at woundedness, as a site where knowledge happens and art is made, “a place/abundance surrounds/. . . a good feast/the earth wants/ and leaves no evidence of.” The wisdom of Chivas Sandage’s poems, their true knowledge  of the heart, gives us not just beauty but our own lives back, transfigured. (Suzanne Paola, author of Lives of the Saints)

Finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards in Poetry  https://botya.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2012/poetry

Author photo: Vivian Felten

Cover Art: Nance Van Winckel

Hidden Drive is available at: 

(Please support the independent press that published Hidden Drive, or, if you’re in CT, MA, or VT, the independent bookstores that carry it!)

Antrim House (order online): http://antrimhousebooks.com/sandage.html

Broadside Bookshop (Northampton, MA): http://www.broadsidebooks.com

Gallery on the Green (Canton, CT): http://www.galleryonthegreen.org

Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT): http://www.banksquarebooks.com

Bennington College Bookstore (Bennington, VT): http://www.bennington.edu/Bookstore.aspx

Elmer’s Store (Ashfield, MA): http://elmersstore.com 

The Cover Art:

To view an enlargement of the cover image from Hidden Drive: http://antrimhousebooks.com/seminar.html#sandage

To view more work by Nance Van Winckel: http://photoemsbynancevanwinckel.zenfolio.com)


2 thoughts

  1. I just read three poems about the loss of a father. After the third poem I had to stop it was so moving. It’s impossible for me to believe I could be that important to my daughter’s lives. It is frightening. There are times I want to give up. I am encouraged to continue. Such loss is very difficult to comprehend. Are poems prayers? May we all be healed.

    Mike E.

    1. Thank you, Mike. I deeply appreciate your very personal response from the perspective of a father with daughters. You ask if poems are prayers. That is one of the central questions I’m tilting towards in a second book of poems that I’m at work on. Thank you for asking, & thanks for taking time with these poems! Warmly, C.

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