The Shape of Wind on Water: New and Selected Poems
by Ann Fox Chandonnet
73 Poems ~ 1 Essay ~ 204 pages
Price: $20.00
Publisher: Loom Press
ISBN #: 978-0-931507-52-6
To Order: Loom Press or


The Shape of Wind on Water: New and Selected Poems, by Ann Fox Chandonnet, is the capsheaf of a lifetime of studying the human condition and chronicling that condition through poetry. No area of life escapes her notice: whether people, places, or seasons, all are in play. Her poems are down-to-earth and wise. They send a clear message that she knows where we live.


Ann Fox Chandonnet’s keen eye and ear, her art and intelligence, are evident everywhere in these pages. Here are poems stepped in the cadence of place–be it of childhood on a Massachusetts farm or adulthood in Alaska–as they consider history, memory, literature, and the hard truths of the present day. The Shape of Wind on Water gathers a fine and substantial life’s work.
–Jane Brox, author of Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives.

Here are stories infused with music and songs brimming with intelligence. Never sentimental and always grounded in life’s specifics, these are poems that open worlds of precarious delight. It was a privilege to be invited on this voyage. I was always in safe hands.
–Ray Hudson, Vermont educator and author of Moments Rightly Placed: An Aleutian Memoir


The oldest of five children, Ann Fox Chandonnet was born in Lowell, MA, growing up in the neighboring rural town of Dracut. She attended Lowell State College (as it was then) as an English major/history minor, class of 1964, graduating magna cum laude. She earned a master’s degree in English at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), and then accepted a position as an English teacher at Kodiak High School in Alaska. After a year on Kodiak Island, she returned to Lowell and became a teaching assistant at Lowell State for three years.
       In 1969 she and her husband, Ferdinand L. Chandonnet, moved to Oakland, CA, where she learned banking at one bank and then was hired away by a second, First Enterprise Bank, the first Black-owned bank in the city, to be administrative assistant to the President. She also published her first cookbook, The Complete Fruit Cookbook (101 Productions, San Francisco).
      The couple adopted their first child, Yves Gaetan, ten days old, in Costa Rica in 1972. Fern was hired by radio station KHAR in Anchorage to be its “morning man” (a combination news reader and comedian) in 1973.
      In 1974, they adopted their second son, Alexandre Jules. Ann remained at home for ten years to raise the boys while carving out time for words. She then spent ten years as a reporter for the Anchorage Times, moving in 1999 to Juneau to work for the Juneau Empire.
      Among her honors is an award from The Alaska Press Club for a seven-part series, “Disabled by Alcohol Before Birth.” Her long poem “In Velvet” was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
      Her latest book is a children’s book, Baby Abe: A Lullaby for Lincoln (Circle Press, 2023).


My Muse

by Ann Fox Chandonnet

My muse grunts below ground,
pressing two hundred pounds.

My muse knots a new string on his yo-yo,
walks the dog on the kitchen lino.

In today’s rushes, my muse slouches
with Brando on tenement couches.

My muse goes each week to work
while I stay home and creatively shirk.

Mu muse has hair on his feet
and keeps an iambic beat.

My muse kisses my lips
after rejection slips.

My muse likes hot wine, hot cha cha, hot milk–
and metaphors slick as silk.

My muse says I’m not working at peak;
he is he says, giving both biceps a tweak.


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