Academy of American Poets

“What pleasure a question” at Poetry Foundation

“Angie Macri’s Underwater Panther, her first full-length book, is about her childhood home: Southwestern Illinois. But Macri isn’t the kind of poet to let nostalgia get in the way of a good poem. This is not easy reading about bucolic walks in pristine, rural settings; nor, on the other hand, does Macri indulge in Plathian rage and rebellion against the shortcomings of home and adolescence…. Her poems dig deep into place, into history, into the competing cultures and political and economic forces that give shape to the places we inhabit. Her place is Southwestern Illinois, with towns whose names recall the ancient past—Thebes, Sparta, Cairo—and whose history is not immune from the darker forces at work beneath American life—the slave trade that worked up and down the Mississippi, the conquest of Native cultures, and the rape of nature. All of this lies buried beneath the consciousness of the inhabitants of rural Illinois, just as the deep history of the places we all inhabit lies buried beneath our feet, rarely evoked….” — N.S. Boone, Southern Humanities Review