Knocking on the Earth (Wesleyan University Press)

Best Books of the Year, San Jose Mercury News

“Akers finds moments of utter mystery and terrifying beauty in the least expected and commonplace.”

“There is a kind of radiance in this book — earthy radiance — body light.”

Women’s Review of Books

“This joy discovered within all the plodding difficulties of life is perhaps the greatest achievement of the book. To feel the weight of heavy boots, the boulders, the cold toads and earthworms, and then to rise up and find the language to speak of all of this in the voice of an angel, as in the last poem, "Advice from an Angel" takes vision and skill and courage. Ellery Akers clearly has all these qualities, and the clarity of her language brings it all straight to us.”


“These poems embody a quest for directness and a lost sense of the living world and a way of speaking for that; a quest for clarity of life and language. The pleasure they give comes in great part from the way the truth and simplicity of the experience come alive in the language, of course, and become indistinguishable from it. That life, that oneness, are a joy to discover — and one discovers them again and again in these poems which are themselves poems of discovery. The writing is original in the way that matters, not as a consequence of an effort to be different or trendy, but because of where they come from in the first place.”

— W.S. Merwin