by Leonore Hildebrandt
The Next Unknown is Leonore's first book-length collection of poetry.
Its carefully crafted poems recall her early years in post-war Germany, and reflect on living with
the land and the sea in her new-world home in Maine. Other poems comment on art and culture, often
opening windows into imaginary spaces. The cover painting by Susan Hammond beautifully catches the
tone of bewilderment, play, and mystery.
"The past is treacherous," Leonore Hildebrandt says in one of her fine poems haunted by history,
hinting at war, imminent danger, the need to protect the vulnerable. She also asks,
"How do I choose my story without inventing?" And her answer comes in poems that evoke more than
they declare, question and suggest more than they assume. The Next Unknown is a book full of smart,
rich, elusive and formally elegant poems, drawn from the past and addressing the present, making it
from one margin to another "via lines of color," as she says in another poem, while "leaving spaces,
at the end, for air.