Moonstruck luminescence, a salt-of-the-earth groundedness, and wry wit fill Heidi Hermanson’s Waking to the Dream—a peripatetic journey down forgotten Midwestern backroads, along the current of the Niobrara, and through the labyrinthine curves of more spiritual pathways. These are grit-stung, fierce and dreamy lyrics that will awaken you to the yearning, sorrow, and splendor of your life.
—Lee Ann Roripaugh, Author of Dandarians, South Dakota State Poet Laureate
Heidi Hermanson has us, “strip down in front of Time/to reveal who we really are.” Yet, “it matters not what time is/We cannot stop the stream of time.” Still. she goes back “in time to no time” visiting cemeteries, driving highways in snow storms and fair weather even as she performs “sorrowful mysteries” in “dust, corn, bittersweet, and bridal veil.” She lets us understand there is “no end, just another beginning…” where ‘the stars and moon sing bebop” and the “cranes sing Allelulia.” You are invited along into her “waking dream.”
–Barbara Schmidt, Poet of Highway 81
Waking to the Dream is like being caught in a dream cycle in which the speaker gets an invitation to prom only to have her lover stand her up again and again, as if the poet’s constant date—is it Mephistopheles? Hades?—were weirdly related to Lucy Van Pelt. Luckily for her readers, the poet’s date never shows up and she lives to write more poems to make our world a richer place, filled with her sensual joy and humor. Jam-packed with several versions of what a heart might be like, the poet repeatedly crushes hers into the sweet extract of poems. After each country road idyll or riverside mishap, Hermanson resolutely resets the table and serves up another smashed dream, another near-fatal sideswipe with death or love, another ironic sunset. Each poem cracks her experience open like a geode encrusted with longing; each poem an iteration of the annihilation and salvation of her heart.
–Greg Kosmicki, Founding Editor, The Backwaters Press
Heidi Hermanson’s A Carrier of Joy balances the quirky and the divine with her love of adventure. Writ large through this text is Hermanson’s ability to observe what others may overlook, though it’s her sharp turns and thoughtful reflections that will leave everyone grateful for the read. Running the gamut of sweet and reflective to the steal-your-breath twist of a poetic knife, Hermanson can write it all. Waking to the Dream is an extraordinary adventure.
–Monica Kerhner Fugeli, author of Watching Her Poems Melt in the Rain