foreword by Mary Oliver
Volume 3 of the May Swenson Poetry Award Series, 1999
"Readers will discover many facets of Fargnoli's voice . . . but I think the two attributes that will most impress readers are, first, the almost shimmering gladness with which Ms. Fargnoli replies to the gifts of beauty and of human love; and, second, the compassion with which she addresses whatever is beyond her own intimate surroundings. Whatever it costs her, whatever it takes, there seems to be for Ms. Fargnoli only one world and only one way to live within it: with a ferocity of attention, care, and response."
"In Necessary Light, Pat Fargnoli proves that joy is not only possible, but that the highest joy is arrived at only after bearing the weight of experience through some terrifying valleys. Ms. Fargnoli's heartening, disturbing, mature first book is rich with two things poetry can never have enough of: energy and wonder."
The May Swenson Poetry Award is an annual competition named for May Swenson, one of America’s most provocative and vital writers. During her long career, Swenson was loved and praised by writers from virtually every school of American poetry. She left a legacy of fifty years of writing when she died in 1989. She is buried in her hometown of Logan, Utah.