In 1806 twelve-year old Hannah embroiders the sampler of the long title poem. As the seasons pass, she works through her grief in the language of embroidery; for among the births and deaths recorded in Hannah’s stitches are those of her little brother Nathan. American Sampler is about vanishing worlds and the struggle of memory, craft and imagination to hold fragments of the pass and turn them into fresh, breathing moments. Jane Duran’s childhood memories of rural New England, its landscapes weather and light, permeate many of the poems. A beaded moccasin, a folk painting, a letter from a Union solider, a Tappan chair: art, artefact and archive inform and illuminate these sympathetic glimpses into an America long past.
‘Duran…twists her hybrid colours into rich, sensual, and perfectly controlled statements of memory and lost…A poet to rejoice in.’