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Transversales by Michael Gessner featured on Verse Daily

 ®

Today's poem is "Magnificat" 
from Transversales

BlazeVOX [books]

Michael Gessner, a former Andrew Mellon professor at the University of Arizona, and Honors Program director at Central Arizona College, lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, and their dog, “Irish.” His work has been featured in American Letters & Commentary, American Literary Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Oxford Magazine, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Web del Sol, and others. His poems have been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and as finalists for “Distransversalesy”/The Nation, and the Pablo Neruda Award.

Books by Michael Gessner:

Other poems on the web by Michael Gessner
"Washed Out" 
Two poems

Michael Gessner's Website.

About Transversales:

"The poems in Michael Gessner’s new collection, Transversales, are formally dazzling—incisive, witty, and smart—but compassion tempers linguistic brilliance. In a series set in Paris, for instance, a visit (against advice) to the 'labyrinth of tented markets,' the now-dangerous Market of Seine-Saint-Denis, is punctuated dramatically by fragmented quotations from Victor Hugo’s diary kept during the siege of Paris (1871). Quite simply, I am hooked on this book. Gessner’s poems are glory."
—Cynthia Hogue

"There’s music of the mind in Michael Gessner’s Transversales, the investigating intelligence and haunting observations of a flâneur out of Walter Benjamin whose path time travels and intersects the lines of other alienated realities. A deft mastery marks these poems. 'The Markets of Seine-Saint-Denis' is a kind of tour de force; a trip to the 'home of the homeless' where both the past and the present 'are eating the unknown.' I am haunted by his imagery, as when he evokes the rain as 'the patterings of an unknown companion, lost and distant, now returned to wrap this house in sheets of itself.' I am struck by his poetic intelligence, as his lines intersect us with a sense of a beingness that is everywhere 'political, which means the beast is in costume.'"
—Rebecca Seiferle



Check out Transversales by Michael Gessner here

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Kristina Marie Darling interview at The Lit Review by Leah Umansky

 

An Interview with Kristina Marie Darling

09/15/14

Leah Umansky: Reading Vow, is like peering into someone’s secret past. A woman is said to be married. Her fiancé dies. She is left, bereft and almost-helpless. It reminds me much of Jane Eyre (for what would Jane be without her Rochester?). On the other hand, it reminds me of Charlotte Bronte herself and the way the Bronte Parsonage was both her home and her fortress. She died soon after she was married, too. With this said, how does your poetry lend itself to allusions? Do you find these books and stories are intrinsic to your life as a writer, or do you seek out these connections?

Kristina Marie Darling: That’s a great question. Most of my poems arise out of my life as a reader. I’ve always been intrigued by Marianne Moore’s use of the term “conversity,” a word she coined to describe the dialogic nature of poetry. With that in mind, I envision my poems as a response to the work that came before my own. By that I don’t just mean poetry, but also fiction, visual art, and literary theory. I’ve always thought it was the writer’s job to not only revise and modify earlier texts, but to forge connections between different texts. With Vow, I definitely sought to explore the relevance of these nineteenth century women’s texts to contemporary debates about language, gender and received literary forms.

For me, Vow represents a corrective gesture. In much of nineteenth century literary culture, women’s writing occupied a marginal space. For example, the sketchbook – which consisted of songs, notes, poems, diary entries, and a mixture of many other types of writing — was considered a predominantly female literary form. More often than not, literary forms that were marked as female were relegated to a private space. When writing Vow, I was interested in taking this marginal space, which women’s writing so often occupied, and making it a focal point.

LU: I’m interested in the speaker of these poems. I know you just founded your own feminist press, Noctury Press, so I know you have a clear relationship to gender in writing. What is her connection to the self? She’s strong, yet impressionable. She wants answers. She wants direction. She wants. What governs her? Is it desire? Is it loneliness? Is it the story inside being the bride? Women are expected to be so many different roles, besides being a woman.

For example: She “doesn’t know how” to use her wings.

                        She “doesn’t know how” to wear the dress.

                        She tries “ascending,” but says “it’s hard to know.”

                        She says,“a locked room, but what else?”

KMD: I’m very interested in the notion of the palimpsest, a text that is written, erased, and written over again and again. This is exactly how I envisioned the speaker of the poems in Vow.  She is inscribed and reinscribed with many different roles, expectations, and normative ideas about gender. These range from the complex culture surrounding weddings — the white dress, the ceremony, and the other accompanying rituals — to the myriad beliefs about what a wife should be, and what constitutes failure as a wife. The speaker of these poems definitely feels that she has failed as a wife, and as a result, she has been buried alive by the many normative ideas about marriage that have been inscribed onto her. She is motivated by the desire to erase this palimpsest, and find out what’s underneath the words and beliefs others have imposed upon her marriage and her identity. With that said, she is also interested in carefully documenting everything, for herself and for other women in her position.

Read the whole Interview here

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The Sun & the Moon by Kristina Marie Darling Now Available!

 In poems lit by an incendiary marriage, Kristina Marie Darling traces a story that begins, as stories often do, “as a small mark on the horizon.” Brave and haunted, these poems burn down to ash and winter, daring to unlock the spell of memory’s silver flashings. The small remains, like distant stars, make a moving portrait.


—Mary Ann Samyn, author of My Life in Heaven


“By then I could barely speak,” Kristina Marie Darling writes, in a collection that mirrors the dissolution of a relationship: mythologizing, erasing, reinventing, and, finally, reinvestigating itself. The Sun & the Moon is rooted in the liminal, where the ghosts that populate these poems become more human than the couple whose house they inhabit, whose drawers they open, whose clothes they wear. Everything is simultaneously burning and freezing, brightening and dimming, so that the stagnancy of a relationship becomes eerily unsettling—claustrophobic and violent—a place for knives and locks and ash. “It’s the strangest things that keep me from leaving.” It’s the same devastatingly strange things that will make readers stay.

—Corey Van Landingham, author of Antidote


“From what I understood, the ghosts had always been volatile.” Kristina Marie Darling’s The Sun & the Moon is a homage to the mutability of consciousness and memory. These prose-poems and erasures achieve a kind of Victorian noir by turning the cluttered, dangerous spaces of desire and mourning into irreducible images. Smudged with ash, soot and dark red stars, The Sun & the Moon renders a universe of jagged, dazzling relics that haunt and captivate us long after the book is finished.”

—Kara Candito, author of Spectator and Taste of Cherry


Kristina Marie Darling’s The Sun & the Moon takes as its metaphor the astronomical clock. The “I” and “you” of these poems are celestial bodies that inhabit the same system, yet are ever distant from one another. These poems become rooms of a gothic house haunted by ghosts that the speaker appears to be one of, at times, and threatened by, at others. The Sun & the Moon is a dreamscape of remnants—ashes, envelopes, and knives—that mark moments of misconnection as though erased from memory.

—Tyler Mills, author of Tongue Lyre


Kristina Marie Darling is the author of seventeen books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014). Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 66 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-191-7

$16

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The SUN & the MOON by Kristina Marie Darling Book Preview

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The Color Symphonies by Wade Stevenson reviewed by Midwest Book Review!

 
The Color Symphonies

Wade Stevenson
Blazevox Books
9781609641757      $16
www.blazevox.org 
 
Books on synesthesia are typically nonfiction accounts of the ability to 'feel colors'; but to have a literary, poetic work packed with descriptions integrating colors with characters and life is truly a horse of another color. Perhaps equating The Color Syphonies with Proust's flavorful writings would come closest; but even then, Proust is relatively inaccessible to all but the most literary follower - and The Color Symphonies is eminently accessible.
 
Like a delicious ice cream, bits of color flake off in the mouth and leave pleasing impressions with every bite: "In the playful day/jets of light were launched,/the white spaces shuddered,/there was dazzling cobalt blue/fused with windblown yellow./You begin to hear colors/you never thought would speak."
 
Biographical accounts have attempted to explain the perceptions and sensations of synesthesia; but few have truly succeeded… until now, it seemed one must be one of those rare individuals to 'feel color' or even understand descriptions of such a feeling.
 
The poems in The Color Symphonies are like a blind man learning to see for the first time: they bring with them an extra dimension of perception and, for just a moment, take readers along on the journey that is synesthesia: a heightened sense of color perception that integrates color with sound and movement to create a symphony of extrasensory impressions.
 
Wade Stevenson's words are delicately wrought and deftly capture the flavors and sensations of all kinds of light - even that which lies between in the realm of neither darkness or light: "It's not darkness or light,/it's not grey either,/doesn't come close to being/any known form of blue/It lies above the garden and the chairs,/unlike a fog it doesn't obscure/objects or dissolve them from sight"
 
It's rare that a poetic work can be recommended for that fellow artist, the painter or capturer of colors. Usually wordsmiths and painters are separate creatures, each striving to capture the color-haunted world in a different manner, with different tools.
 
Here the synthesis comes together - once more, a symphony of color - and invites the fellow artist working in another medium to come on in, sit down, and partake.
 
The language of colors, their interactions, and their presentation all come to life in a collection where colors are the main characters, assuming the vibrant words of a canvas and interacting with calls and responses in the world that contains them, keeps them from spilling, merges and dissolves them, and simply dances.
 
A good poetry collection describes. A better poetry collection captures. But a superior work absorbs, dissolves, recreates, immerses, and then dances … such is The Color Symphonies. There's simply quite nothing like its animated free verse and light-filled perspective, even in today's overloaded poetry genre.
 
D. Donovan, e-book reviewer for Midwest Book Review

Read a preview or buy this book here 

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Reflections of Hostile Revelries by Jennifer C. Wolfe Reviewed in Midwestern Book Review

 
The Poetry Shelf
 
Reflections of Hostile Revelries
Jennifer C. Wolfe
BlazeVox
131 Euclid Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217
9781609641528, $16.00, 108pp, 
 
Synopsis: Jennifer C. Wolfe's "Reflections of Hostile Revelries" is a compendium of politically oriented poetry focused on the hypocrisies and naivety, aspirations and personalities of the American political landscape. Deftly encapsulated into word fashioned pictures of life and politics both before and after the 2012 election of America's first African American president, as well as snapshot responses in verse to extraordinary political events ranging from the shooting of Travon Martin to the conflict raging in Syria, "Reflections of Hostile Revelries" is a truly seminal volume reflecting the politics of poetry -- and the poetry of politics.
 
Criteria: Jennifer C. Wolfe is an exceptionally talented wordsmith whose poetry lingers in the mind long after "Reflections of Hostile Revelries" has been set back on the shelf. 'Candy Slogans': Ah, that colorful Texas Govenor, Rick Perry: // He, who is so enamored of invoking his state's unique succession clause, / Threatening to secede from the Union, whenever he becomes outraged, / Or throws a childish political tantrum. // A prestigious candy company had a hit advertising slogan for two / Of their select candy bars, which i think summarizes Mr. perry quite well / "Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut" (Texas); "Sometimes You Don't" (Rest of the US).

Read the whole review here 

Read a preview of this title or buy the book here


  

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