"Again and again in Christina Hutchins’s exquisite Tender the Maker, poems startle us into awareness of the overlooked, the nearly always invisible (such as a library’s unused dictionary), and the marvelous, those aspects of life that come under the rubric of ‘mystery,’ in all senses of the word. Hutchins combines a pitch-perfect and precise lyricism with a postmodern sensibility of language’s materiality.”
—Cynthia Hogue, judge for the 2015 May Swenson Poetry Award
"An elegantly crafted, dense work that invites readers to travel on spiritual, philosophical, and historical journeys."
"Tender the Maker revisits the age-old comparison between poet and deity, highlighting its blind spots, namely the times when creating also means losing, destroying, forgetting. . . . Each poem becomes a map where time and space intersect and unearth connections that help us confront the weight of history, whether our own or that of others."
"[T]hroughout the book, Hutchins guides me into her patient, fragile, complex vision. . . . Both the depth and the precision of Hutchins’s work arise from her exact attention to the 'motion-in-relation' of herself as an artist, which is also attention to the tools of her work and to her imagination’s duty to honor the seen and the not seen."
—Beloit Poetry Journal
The May Swenson Poetry Award is an annual competition named for May Swenson, one of America’s most provocative and vital writers. During her long career, Swenson was loved and praised by writers from virtually every school of American poetry. She left a legacy of fifty years of writing when she died in 1989. She is buried in her hometown of Logan, Utah.