Grace Cavalieri's February 2019 Exemplars of Poetry
Every month for the Washington Independent Review of Books, the Maryland Poet Laureate, Grace Cavalieri, author of Other Voices, Other Lives, does a round-up style review of the best recently released independent books of poetry and books about poetry.
February 2019's review features 8 books ranging from exciting newcomer, Sam Ross, to long-dead literary stalwart, Charles Bukowski (whose new collection, edited and compiled by Abel Debritto, is titles On Drinking)
Read the full February 2019 round-up HERE on the WIRoB site
Indie Publishers Featured this month: Four Way Books ; Terrapin Books ; Kurodahan Press ; Conestoga Zen Press ; Mountains & Rivers Press (sadly The Geography of Jazz by Leonard D. Moore will be their last book) ; Baobab Press ; Ecco*
Here is an excerpt from Grace's review of Gary J. Whitehead's new collection from Terrapin Books, Strange What Rises :
“where does the hermit sing /when the seething ends/and the frosts begin?” (Rough Terrain). Whitehead writes 94 pages of poetry, not one syllable out of sync. This poetry is acoustically perfect and intellectually honest — two things seldom found together. He reveals — by way of location, sound, and visuals — an arc within each story where we learn what is beautiful. I would encourage students of poetry to read this book for its foundationality in what poetry can be. This poet can be a motivator for writers.
So cold we made bonfires on the ice,
the hair beneath our caps as gray as the day,
which was as gray as the ice but streaming
low-slung light. Some of us in skates
that wrote the hours we moved through,
a score for two pianos or the pendent branches
that shook their glass chimes when the northerlies blew.
The lake, too, with its boom and whistle,
its lightening cracks we chased to the shrinking edge
where the water rocked dark against the shore.
More light! Why should one brief day
typify a life? Looking back, I remember
looking back. At the eyes of our fires blinking.
At the sun sinking into bare, black trees.
More From Grace Cavalieri
Grace Cavalieri’s recent stop at NPR’s The Kojo Nnamdi show is now streamable. Over a substantive 22 minutes, listen to Grace talk about poetry, inspiration, and her plans as the 10th Maryland Poet Laureate.
Recently Governor Larry Hogan announced that Grace Cavlieri, poet, playwright, and long time host of NPR’s The Poet and The Poem, would become Maryland’s next Poet Laureate, succeeding the great Stanley Plumly. Now that she has been inaugurated, one of her first stops is The Kojo Nnamdi show. Kojo Nnamdi has been hosting his show on WAMU for 20 years, so he and Grace are kindred spirits in that regard–Grace has hosted The Poet and The Poem for over 40 years.
Nin Andrews is a poet. Most recently of Miss August which is out now from the awesome Cavankerry Press and most notably of the collection, Why God is a Woman. Nin Andrews is also a fan of Grace Cavalieri’s interview with Jorie Graham which she recently extolled over on ITN.
Governor Hogan recently announced Maryland’s ninth Poet Laureate to be the incomparable Grace Cavalieri. In his press conference regarding the announcement he touched on her “lifelong” dedication to poetry, and this precisely is one of those defining characteristics of a great artist. ASP celebrated this aspect of Grace in her Legacy Book, Other Voices, Other Lives which is an atemporal sampling of her entire career to now, from poetry to prose, from plays to interviews with US Poets Laureate. It should come as no surprise to Mr. Hogan nor the careful reader of her works then that she has an almost religious dedication and inescapable fascination with her art and its many ingredients. As you we shall hear, in her poem “Work is my Secret Lover,” Poetry is the muse.