"Walter Wangerin's Ascent/Descent is a book all but unique in my experience: its components are biographical, geographical, and--how to name it?--obliquely theological. But in all of the collection's five sections, the principal word that leaps to my mind is lyrical. Rendering the elaborate narrative of his Virginia and Walter, realizing the hieratic voice of Rilke, even translating the Dies irae, so on, Wangerin's mouth-fillingly rich language draws us so completely into his material that we are unable (and glad of it) to extricate ourselves. Pluperfectly absorbing!"
--Sydney Lea, Vermont Poet Laureate (2011-2015)