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Funny, harrowing, sad, animate:  the poems gathered in A House of Bottles are artful although unadorned, edgy and troubling (the way American life is edgy and troubling), and they are unshakable -- as if a rose with a canker had unfolded and spent its blooms before you.  Merrill's vision isn't beautiful:  it's just overwhelmingly real.  These are "dare you" poems:  they dare you to be vulnerable and to see.  If you take the dare, you may not be glad, but you will be enriched.  ~ Gray Jacobik
 
 
At times playful and at other times excuciatingly moving, A House of Bottles is refreshingly unpretentious and connected arm and arm with the real.  This is creative writing -- writing which never allows itself to take itself too seriously, too pretentiously -- a downfall of so many technically proficient, yet, painfully dull, academic poets.  In the end, Ms. Merrill's poetry is all the more profound and alive.  ~ Robert Nazarene
 
 
In A House of Bottles, Robin Merrill writes with verve and wit.  Whether she is taking us on a hospital ship to Africa or just next door, the journey is always into the depths of the human heart.  Her faith is big enough to be both funny and frank, to grieve the world's terrible wounds and celebrate our enduring grit.  These poems call us to compassion.  Like prophecies written in lipstick across a mirror, we can't help but see, and can't possibly refuse Merrill's compelling vision.  ~ Betsy Sholl
 
 
 
 
 


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Laundry & Stories is filled with elegies and laments, as well as poems of praise and survival. There is no posturing and pretence in this book; the voice of this poet is searching and genuine. In this collection, Merrill offers us a vision of the world that is gritty and tender, honest and real. ~ Shara McCallum


Robin Merrill's poems pack a very deft wallop. Her emotional honesty is as notable as the calm with which she takes the measure of some very hard moments. Her subject matter is largely rural; the responses she elicits are universal. ~ Baron Wormser