In TENACITY OF LACE, Vicki Mandell-King unravels knots and weaves threads into  delicate and compelling patterns of  holding on and letting go. While telling stories of relationships, soldiers, criminals, births and deaths, birds and stars, the poems in TENACITY depict the connections formed and the empty spaces in between.  By turns  lyrical, then narrative, these poems are rich with images, dialogue and music, and if their endings surprise the reader, this is only because the endings have snuck up on the poet herself. 


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Tenacity of Lace



By turns graceful and fierce, Vicki Mandell-King’s poems hold to “the sharp edge of things,” the edge that can join and separate and cut.  The Tenacity of Lace traverses the full range of grief and loss—the inescapable fragility of “our own ephemeral hearts”—but it does so in poems that are vibrant, tenacious, made to last.                                                

               John Brehm, author of Help Is on the Way


By turns celebratory, elegiac, joyous, and heartbroken, Vicki Mandell-King’s poems in The Tenacity of Lace offer a full exploration of human experience. Mandell-King populates her poems with a memorable cast – a death-row killer, war hero, crippled ballerina, overdosed heroin addict, orphaned daughter, expectant mother, and many others whose interconnected lives reveal truths about love, beauty, loss, and letting go. Through these lyric poems, Mandell-King transforms the stuff of life into a balm of wisdom.                        Amy Riddell, author of Bullet in the Jewelry Box


These are intimate poems like memoir or the way we come to know a friend. Tenacity of Lace swirls and leaps with startling connections and contrast, reflection and refraction—of mother, husband, son, of cruelty and kindness, of loss and love. In rhythms of their own, the poems seem to have carved themselves, as Vicki tells the bare bones, touching upon joy, opening to darkness, never harsh but undaunted.

               Carolyn Jennings, author of Hunger Speaks: A Memoir Told in Poetry


In each of these brilliantly crafted poems, Mandell-King reveals the paradox embedded in her title of a tenacious daughter who lost her war hero father as a young child, and a compassionate Federal Public Defender holding hands with a killer before his execution. Over and over, she puts "flesh on these bare-boned words," takes up "the sweet knot of my life's untangling," listens "for the authentic voice/blown in the glass of a bull's eye." Under much loss and pain, she spreads the white lace of her words.
               Ran Huntsberry, author of The Stranger Myself