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From irreverent titles to couplets swimming down the page to poems that explicitly take off,

Ash on Wind is a whirlwind of poems with everything a collection should have and then some. Sandra Berris draws inspiration from relationships' defining moments, breathing new perspective into emotion, and uses language to illuminate truth.


In this first volume of her poems, Berris demonstrates her flexibility with forms ranging from experimental and free verse to the demands of cento, eclogue, paradelle, sestina and haiku. She tailors rhythm and rules for each poem bringing shape as well as voice to her varied subjects. With competent use of metaphor, her poems tell stories of dementia, loss, death, lovers and divorce, yet also surprise with humor and whimsy.


From the opening poem recalling the execution of a mass murderer to a hand that releases "ash to wind," her poems have enough force to push boundaries and startle the reader.