Poetry & More
THE SHY MIRROR
Gordon Robert Sabatier
There is no singular delight in coming into the world of Gordon Robert Sabatier who is both a natural poet and a learned one too. . . . Here is a poet who does what all art asks us to do: to blur the lines between what is human and not human, the lines between pain and ecstasy, between being fully immersed in the physical and spiritual in the moment of the poem. Here is a poet who uses formalisms we use to harness the fierce and wild. We hear and see attention to line and syllable in the ways that master technicians pay attention to line and measure and sound and image. But there is more.
--Darrell Bourque, author of Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie
There is a Dickinsonian shyness, reclusiveness bursting forth in short intense lyrics; there’s the mad hermit quality of his defensive, retreating form manifest in the crisp, clear, nature-centered verse; there is . . . the quality of an intense, troubled, private relation with God which only language can capture or relieve despite a desperation for clear union and purpose.
--Ralph Adamo, author of Ever
This posthumous volume by New Orleans poet by Gordon Robert Sabatier includes a foreword by former Louisiana poet laureate, Darrell Bourque and a biographical afterward by the poet’s brother William Sabatier.
R. Flowers Rivera
R. Flowers Rivera's Troubling Accents is an impressive act of storytelling and at times ventriloquism. With a compelling mix of tenderness and ambivalence, yearning and loss, the poems embrace 'brutal and beautiful' human experience and histories, returning often to the subjectivity of black Southerners, women in particular. The insights these poems offer are grounded in Rivera's evocative images, her diction that weds the vernacular and the formal, and her sustained attention to voice/persona. The subjects and scenes of the poems vary widely and wildly-- flirtation at a funeral, the silence in a family surrounding one member's death [complicated by] AIDS, domestic violence, conflicted love and sexuality, the indomitable Bessie Smith, and more. What remains constant through the collection is Rivera's gift for upending expectations and exposing each moment's facade." --Shara McCallum, author and Director of Stadler Center for Poetry
SONGS IN BLUE NEGRITUDE
Van G. Garrett
Some play the dozens, some play the sevens. Van G. Garrett navigates the urban landscape with poems that sound like jazz riffs dancing on paper. Van's horn is filled with the kwansabas, last heard coming from the big band directed by Eugene Redmond. Many of the poems in Songs in Blue Negritude are short and compact. Easy luggage for the poetry lover on the move --E. Ethelbert Miller, author of How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love
Van G. Garrett has established himself as a strong new voice rooted in the soul of the South. His poems sing like a smooth and sensual breeze blowing 'a song a soul a something worth crying about.' Sometimes jubilant, sometimes blue, always honest --Amalia L. Ortiz, HBO's Def Poetry
Garrett deals in play words, strong rhythms, clear images; his passion brings them to life. --David Gates, Newsweek
POINTS OF GOLD: POEMS FOR LEO LUKE MARCELLO
Edited by Stella Ann Nesanovich
A memorial tribute to the late and widely-admired Louisiana poet, Leo Luke Marcello, Nesanovich’s collection includes poems by many of Marcello’s colleagues and fellow poets, including Jack Bedell, Darrell Bourque, Catherine Savage Brosman, Julie Kane, Susan Ludvigson, Wendy Whelan-Stewart, and Lewis P. Simpson.
VESPERS AT MOUNT ANGEL
Stella Ann Nesanovich
Although this collection of poems deals with the daily stresses of living and dying, Stella Nesanovich infuses them with a quiet intensity that lingers long after the reader puts the book aside. Nesanovich does not burden the reader with showy attempts to be literary, but speaks in an almost conversational tone that creates an instant intimacy between her and the reader.
Carole Boston Weatherford
The fifth collection by this award-winning African-American writer features sharply imaged verse that calls up a multitude of images from black culture and history, but which seems centered on the experience of everyday people in ordinary settings. "Yeast Rolls and Water Biscuits," " Turkey Necks and Crowder Peas," "Juchitech Market Woman," "B&O RR. Mount Royal Station Recap," and " December 1, 1955 : Before Rosa Altered History," are but a few of the poems in this collection, many of which have previously appeared in literary reviews and poetry magazines.
ODD FELLOWS REST: AN ORIGINAL PLAY
This serio-comic two-act play explores love and loss through the lives of a cemetery caretaker, his mother, and a collection of neighbors within the confines of one of New Orleans ’ historic cemeteries. Illustrated with photos by Robert Brantley and actual cast photos from one of the play’s productions. “ Odd Fellows Rest . . . takes a tender, irreverent look at a collection of New Orleans odd balls. Like Dixieland jazz, the play is zany, loose limbed and anarchic. Its spirit celebrates charactes who love not wisely but quite touchingly.” Lynn Hoggard, Wichita Falls Times Record News
IMMORTELLES: POEMS OF LIFE AND DEATH BY NEW SOUTHERN WRITERS
Edited by Thomas Bonner, Jr. and Robert E. Skinner
The poetry companion to Xavier Review Press’s story anthology Above Ground: Stories About Life and Death by New Southern Writers (1993), Immortelles brings together the work of forty southern poets as they thematically explore living and dying in the South. Among the many poets collected in this volume are Ralph Adamo, Catherine Savage Brosman, Peter Cooley, Charles Fort, Lee Grue, Yusef Komunyakaa, Robert Morgan, and Stella Nesanovich . Illustrated with photos by Jan White Brantley. “[gives] that bracing shock to the reader that the best poetry provides.” Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune