About Perpendicular As I, winner of the 1994 Sandstone Poetry Book Award:
“As one re-reads Marjorie’s poems, which have airy beginnings usually in breath, voice, intimation, they grow increasingly concrete until situations, relationships, and feelings are palpable and deeply moving.”
—A. R. Ammons, National Book Critics Circle Award, Bollingen Prize, and National Book Award winner
“Marjorie Maddox returns again and again to the ways body becomes landscape and landscape becomes body, internal and external repeatedly merging with one another. In extraordinary poems like ‘The Truth of Lies, The Lies of Truth,’ she tells of her father’s breath and the wind and how they whip ‘through my eyes,/my mouth, carve truth and lie/on the same stone,/carry them from Sinai triumphant.’ And Marjorie Maddox’s truths and her lies are triumphant indeed.”
—Andrew Hudgins, Pulitzer Prize nominee, National Book Award finalist, and winner of the Hanes Poetry Prize and Witter Bynner Award for Poetry
“What a range of richness we find in the poems of Marjorie Maddox. New worlds unfold in the narratives and implied narratives of these lyrics. We are left with a sense of uprightness and aspiration, a memorable voice, and of our own worlds, and selves surprised, deepened, and lifted toward a larger meaning.”
—Robert Morgan, New York Times bestselling novelist and poet
“These poems in Marjorie Maddox’s Perpendicular As I do indeed stand up straight and demand notice. Maddox, like all of us, is an explorer moving into the uncharted territories of the human condition. She has planted these finely crafted markers on her journey through that labyrinth to help her discover and then remember her way. But they function also as beautiful signposts for her readers, so that we may draw near and follow, and make some confident sense of the mysterious maze in there.”
—Leon Stokesbury (contest judge), author of Autumn Rhythm: New and Selected Poems, winner of The Poet’s Prize
"With so many poets today secure in their biases for or against the 'persona' or 'image-centered' poem, with so many authors understandably anxious to clear a space for their own voice and kindred voices, a poet whose work is more discursive and interpretively demanding than most speculative work, may risk slipping between the cracks of contemporary tastes and conventions. For this reason, I am grateful to Sandstone Press for recognizing in Marjorie Maddox a soulfully inquisitive and original mind.
With her smart charm, the quirky boldness of her abstractions, and her thematic preoccupation with the precarious self, Maddox betrays something of her apprenticeship under A. R. Ammons at Cornell. Her poems, like his, often have an offbeat and distilled quality, a love of the surprising speculative claim that opens up the poem, emotionally and intellectually, rather than closes it down…."
—Bruce Bond in Prairie Schooner, Fall 1999