The Marie Alexander Series is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and enjoyment of prose poetry.

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The Angel of Duluth

The Angel of Duluth

The Angel of Duluth: Prose Poems

by Madelon Sprengnether

She wasn’t sure what she beheld, why she was sad, or what she was hugging in her basket. Her eyes cast inward, contemplative. She neither flew nor stood, but seemed to hover, suspended. Was she trying to ascend? I don’t think so. She seemed earthbound–like the yellow moon, held in orbit by invisible bands. If she could speak, she might say she was not the rising kind. As if to say, I won’t leave you–and return–and leave you again, like him, always promising, then vanishing. Her greatest wish was more warm-blooded, human. She wanted to be remembered.  Having no tongue, she knew she could neither come nor go in flames.

About the Author

Madelon Sprengnether is a poet, memoirist and literary critic who teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of two memoirs, Crying at the Movies and Rivers, Stories, Houses, Dreams; two chapbooks, La Belle et La Beteand Near Solstice: Mourning; two books of poetry, The Normal Heart and The Angel of Duluth; a co-edited collection of travel writing by women, The House on Via Gombito; and numerous works of feminist psychoanalytic scholarship. The Normal Heart was a Minnesota Voices competition winner. In addition, she has received awards from the Bush Foundation, The Loft Literary Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently completing a new memoir titled Great River Road: Memoir and Memory.

Visit the author's website.



Madelon Sprengnether’s coolly sensuous, subtly cadenced prose poems, move, change and are quiet like the lake on whose shores she broods in many of them. Wistfully contemplating love and its losses, grief and its dreams, Sprengnether presses toward the center of the myths out of which romance evolves, seeking to become, in her own words, ‘a clear, stinging consciousness, filled with [a] dazzle of color.’ The Angel of Duluth is an impressively ambitious and powerful collection.
— Sandra M. Gilbert
The Angel of Duluth is a descent into loss. Sprengnether drives deep into the seasons, from Boston to California to the Great Lakes, arriving at a place where we can see the world’s bruised colors, and our most vulnerable selves, through torn open eyes. A book of subtle beauty.
— Dorianne Laux
The Angel of Duluth is a fierce book, deeply attentive to nuance and rich with emotionally compelling drama. Even when Madelon Sprengnether contemplates a lake or a statue–‘my angel, her own Vesuvius!’–the intensity of these prose poems makes them ‘unflinching and true.’ She uses the breadth of the hybrid form and the cumulative power of each section to go deep into myth, into marriage, art, and the natural world. This is a deeply satisfying book that walks, dances and finally leaps across the line between genres.
— Rosellen Brown
The Angel of Duluth not only crosses but embraces the genres–poetry, memoir, fiction–in a compact and intense way, full of nostalgia, sensuality, revelation and grace. A delectably exciting book!
— Josip Novakovich
Release DateMay 2006




Dimensions6 x 0.2 x 9 inches



Light from an Eclipse

Light from an Eclipse