MadHat Press

Whipstitches by Randi Ward

These poems are never merely pastoral, and their emotional range belies their small size. Here are poems that move from the lyrical and humorous to the acerbic, the rueful, and even the creepy. “Every little whipstitch,” we can hear Randi Ward’s haunted and haunting voice moving between worlds like a wily shape-shifter.

— Maggie Anderson, author of A Space Filled With Moving and Years That Answer

Praise for Whipstitches

“What a fresh, disturbing new voice is found in this collection! Imagine the quirky, revelatory ways Emily Dickinson saw the world meshed with the succinct clarities of Lorine Niedecker. Now add a dose of H. P. Lovecraft, and you have some sense of the triumph these surprising little poems achieve.”

— Marc Harshman, Poet Laureate of West Virginia and author of Green-Silver and Silent

“Each poem in Whipstitches is a world Ward makes us see, or see again, with a child’s clarity melded to metaphor. Underlying the whole is both abiding love for the homeplace and knowledge of the wounds it inflicts.”

— Lee Sharkey, author of Calendars of Fire and senior co-editor of Beloit Poetry Journal

“Randi Ward’s poems: western-world haikus? In one sense they are, but these succinct, precisely crafted poems rarely conclude in a mere acknowledgment of the thing per se, the event per se, as in the Japanese literary genre. Ward’s poems unfold unaffectedly, yet with increasing enigma.  Snow is rarely just snow, broomsedge is rarely just broomsedge. Whipstitches narrates a subjectivity, a human body within the world, a poetic sensibility that is among the subtlest that I have encountered in my recent reading.”

— John Taylor, author of If Night is Falling and The Apocalypse Tapestries.

Randi Ward is a poet, translator, lyricist, and photographer from Belleville, West Virginia. She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University and subsequently earned her MA in Cultural Studies from the University of the Faroe Islands.
In 2013, Ward won the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Prize for her translation of Tóroddur Poulsen’s Fjalir (Planks, 2013). This marked the first time in the international translation competition’s history that a work of literature translated from the Faroese was awarded the prize.
Whipstitches is Ward’s second collection of poetry. Her photography and writing have also appeared in Asymptote, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cimarron Review, Vencil: Anthology of Contemporary Faroese Literature, World Literature Today, and other publications. Cornell University Library established the Randi Ward Collection in its Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in 2015. For more information about the author and her work, visit


by Randi Ward
$18, paperback, 116 pp.
ISBN-13:  978-1-941196-24-3


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