Counting by Sevens

A Poetry Collection

Now available from Main Street Rag

Praise for Counting by Sevens

Counting by Sevens is about how we make sense of our wounds. Wallace takes us through the national injuries inflicted by injustice, through the damage done to us in relationships, and finally to the betrayal of our bodies in illness. She moves from national injury to the increasingly intimate, cellular level of our bodies, and in clear-eyed, unsentimental poetry, brings readers to their knees, showing that bearing witness to suffering is a form of healing.

N. West Moss, author of The Subway Stops at Bryant Park, Leapfrog Press, 2017

Wallace's great feat in this book of poems of her illnesses—multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer—and national tragedies—school shootings, persistent racism, sexual abuse—is that she manages to leave readers with a sense of hope. She pulls this off by telling tales of life, especially the resilient girlhoods of the author, her mother, and daughters. Life is lived deliberately in an imperfect country, with other people, and against all odds. 

E. Shaskan Bumas, author of the Grace Paley Award-winning The Price of Tea in China, University of Massachusetts Press, 1995.

What unites the three sections of this collection is the poet's compassion for those who suffer. As a constant reader of poetry, I'm usually drawn to the voices of women – and Wallace's poetry is some of the best I've read both in regard to craft and the emotional impact of each poem's subject. She evokes great empathy and tenderness about some difficult subjects that I believe most women understand. Which is not to say this is "women's" poetry, but rather that it called on me to respond from who I am – which is what poetry worth reading often does. [Read more]

Tricia Knoll, in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and LIterature

Some experiences seem to lend themselves more readily to articulation through poetry rather than prose. These are often intimate experiences, transactions among the mind, body, and soul. Wallace, a professor at New Jersey City University and a longtime Jersey City resident, has eavesdropped thoughtfully on the conversations we have with each other and with our inner selves, and the result is an astonishingly moving collection, poems that address the things that threaten the integrity of our bodies — politic and private. Her work addresses suffering and loss in their many incarnations, but this is no pity party in print. Wallace’s voice is one of defiance and ultimately triumph where years of pain and anger “gather into beads/of sweat wiped clear/with the brush of a sweaty/hand across my forehead.”

James Broderick, in Jersey City Times

Ann Wallace is one of those extraordinary authors that is not afraid to bring up the dark and traumatic sides of our lives, and as she does, she writes it in a way that makes it feel so incredibly raw and real. [Read more]

Stephanie Bock, in The Gothic Times: The Official Student Newspaper of NJCU

Praise for Counting by Sevens

Counting by Sevens is about how we make sense of our wounds. Wallace takes us through the national injuries inflicted by injustice, through the damage done to us in relationships, and finally to the betrayal of our bodies in illness. She moves from national injury to the increasingly intimate, cellular level of our bodies, and in clear-eyed, unsentimental poetry, brings readers to their knees, showing that bearing witness to suffering is a form of healing.

N. West Moss, author of The Subway Stops at Bryant Park, Leapfrog Press, 2017

Wallace's great feat in this book of poems of her illnesses—multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer—and national tragedies—school shootings, persistent racism, sexual abuse—is that she manages to leave readers with a sense of hope. She pulls this off by telling tales of life, especially the resilient girlhoods of the author, her mother, and daughters. Life is lived deliberately in an imperfect country, with other people, and against all odds. 

E. Shaskan Bumas, author of the Grace Paley Award-winning The Price of Tea in China, University of Massachusetts Press, 1995.

Ann E. Wallace's debut collection of poems, Counting by Sevens, is, at first glance, about the wounds we all bear as humans. Some of these wounds are borne publicly, such as the collective trauma brought on by cultural tragedy. Other hurts—those stemming from illness or personal tragedy—are endured more privately. Wallace's poetry, with its clarity and precision, not only observes the effects of all manner of wounds, but also testifies to the specific lens that motherhood lends to hurting and to healing. [Read more]

Juli Anna Herndon, in Literary Mama

If you are a parent, a patient, or a death-defier, you will see yourself in Wallace’s poignant words. Reading Ann Wallace’s collection of poetry, Counting By Sevens, I found myself surprised by how much weight a book this light could hold. Deeply personal and bold, Wallac’s poetry explores the darkness in America and in her own life. I snuck away from my children to read a poem or two at a time and found myself breathlessly immersed in her words, finding themes and topics that resonated with my own struggle as a human and a mother. [Read more​]

Joann Renee Boswell, in Mothers Always Write

What unites the three sections of this collection is the poet's compassion for those who suffer. As a constant reader of poetry, I'm usually drawn to the voices of women – and Wallace's poetry is some of the best I've read both in regard to craft and the emotional impact of each poem's subject. She evokes great empathy and tenderness about some difficult subjects that I believe most women understand. Which is not to say this is "women's" poetry, but rather that it called on me to respond from who I am – which is what poetry worth reading often does. [Read more]

Tricia Knoll, in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and LIterature

Some experiences seem to lend themselves more readily to articulation through poetry rather than prose. These are often intimate experiences, transactions among the mind, body, and soul. Wallace, a professor at New Jersey City University and a longtime Jersey City resident, has eavesdropped thoughtfully on the conversations we have with each other and with our inner selves, and the result is an astonishingly moving collection, poems that address the things that threaten the integrity of our bodies — politic and private. Her work addresses suffering and loss in their many incarnations, but this is no pity party in print. Wallace’s voice is one of defiance and ultimately triumph where years of pain and anger “gather into beads/of sweat wiped clear/with the brush of a sweaty/hand across my forehead.”

James Broderick, in Jersey City Times

Ann Wallace is one of those extraordinary authors that is not afraid to bring up the dark and traumatic sides of our lives, and as she does, she writes it in a way that makes it feel so incredibly raw and real. [Read more]

Stephanie Bock, in The Gothic Times: The Official Student Newspaper of NJCU

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