02 - northSight by Lois Roma-Deeley Jun 12, 2008 2:02:00 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Jun 12, 2008 2:02:00 GMT 2
Lois Roma-Deeley's powerful poems are as "tough and brave" as they are "brilliant," "beautiful" and, finally, "soul-satisfying." The mystic journey into the dangerous world of Lois Roma-Deeley's second collection of poems, northSight, takes us through the caverns of "the hunted and the hunting heart."
Our traveling companions on this road make a "vital chorus" of those who suffer , or those who make others suffer. Those who survive with dignity and those who -- with great astonishment -- disappear into their own despair. On this journey, we meet both Beast and Angel: rapists, waitresses, prostitutes, war heroes, tattoo girls, Italian immigrants, dope dealers, day laborers, monks, bikers, and firemen as well as the uncommitted, the confused and the slightly insane.
As if the earth underneath our feet will split open at any given moment, these poems fight to keep their fierce balance between the world as we know it and the world as it should be.
This is a book that dares us to hope.
Once on A-Pond
is what I thought the teacher had said.
When she spoke, I didn't hear
but saw it: the circle of blue ice and
an angel skating backward.
Eye half open against the cold;
snow falling on both wings.
The angel's long coat, pure wool.
And inside the rabbit muff,
five fingers close around one hand.
Later when I was older and less deaf, I'd know
God put spaces between words so we can find ourselves
less alone, to make it so
we can breathe in and breathe out
the distance between us
and the unknown.
But now the angel is humming a song I've never heard.
The pond is surrounded by snow banks
behind which a dozen cherubs hide.
In a moment they will fly
into a frozen sky that has no sun or moon.
At last the angel leans, hard, on the outer blade,
cutting deeper into thick ice: two rings, intertwined.
Praise for northSight:
"I remember as a child, watching my great grandmother make a passage from the sofa to a chair. It was a hard landing. Yet, she composed herself and smiled. I looked around me and knew that only I had recognized a real heroism. After this, firemen did not impress me.
I'd forgotten all this until reading tonight these new, brilliant poems by Lois Roma-Deeley. These poems are tough, brave, but also hold an almost physical balance against human suffering."
-- Norman Dubie
"northSight is above all a book of lives. Of the poet's own life, but not only that. Of women's lives, but not only that. Of human lives, but not only that. Time and history, the transcendental, even a bead of sweat are given their voice in Lois Roma-Deeley's vital chorus, whose song is of hard-won resurrection and the unlikely survival of hope."
-- Jane Hirshfield
Reviews for northSight:
"And then she follows that book up two years later with another terrific collection, northSight....She is able to pull a reader into her world by the nape of the neck and make him live there until she's done. Then, when you're through reading, you want to thank her for the abduction.
-- Lewis Turco, The Hollins Critic, (Dec. 2006)
"Arranged in four sections, northSight, Lois Roma-Deeley's second book of poems, presents a cast of characters worthy of Dante: dealers, bikers, prostitutes, rapists, and tattoo girls on one hand, and war heroes, waitresses, monks, laborers, firemen, and immigrants on the other....Most important of all is this poets ability to mend the broken things, herself included..."
-- Peter Huggins, Phi Kappa Phi Forum (Summer 2006)
"northSight showcases the ultimately hopeful poetry of Lois Roma-Deeley who draws upon the imagery of war heroes and tattoo girls, day laborers and monks, rapists and prostitutes, Italian immigrants and waitresses, bikers and firemen, the uncommitted, the confused, and the slightly insane, to craft memory haunting verse of a dangerous and sometimes mystical world. War Widow: "She's crying. All night she prays God give me a sign./Is he alive? Somewhere on a desert island?/ Eating coconuts? Drinking palm wine?/ She touches her stomach. Eight months ago/they were dancing in Kansas,/the USO banner sagging underneath the heat/of their kisses. The trumpets playing: Begin the Beguine."
-- Midwest Book Review
"These are indeed words for our time, words to travel by. Throw away the charts, the road maps. Things are growing dark, and we can no longer count on faith, or the stars, to guide us. Still, there is hope at the end of the road. Yes, there is suffering, but these are survivors, and just as the monk in "This" sees the blood on the stone / floor, a star burst he can copy, / something
he can use" so does Lois Roma-Deeley, who takes these stories into her body, and makes art out of them."
-- Barbara Crooker, The Pedestal Magazine
About the author:
Lois Roma-Deeley is the author of two collections of poetry. Her second book, northSight (Singularity Press, 2006), earned her recognition from the Los Angeles Book Prize nominating committee and received critical praise. Rules of Hunger, her first full-length poetry collection (Star Cloud Press, 2004), earned her a National Book Award nomination.
Critics have called her poems "brilliant," "tough and brave," "poignant," "a vital chorus," and "soul-satisfying." Literary critic Peter Huggins writes that, in northSight, Roma Deeley "presents a cast of characters worthy of Dante."
Roma-Deeley has won numerous awards and honors for her poetry, including awards for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition and the Emily Dickinson Poetry Competition, and recognition as a finalist in the Paumanok International Poetry Contest. She has published in seven national anthologies, including the American Book Award winner Looking For Home (Milkweed Editions) and Letters to the World (Red Hen Press). In addition, her work has been featured in numerous literary journals nationwide, including, Superstition Review, Artful Dodge, Italian Americana, Paterson Literary Review, Water~Stone, Iris, Faultline, Columbia Poetry Review, Comstock Review, Elixir, Controlled Burn, Confluence, Sow's Ear (competition finalist), Iris, and many others. Her work appears on BestPoem.com.
In collaborations with visual artists on several ekphrasis projects -- most recently with visual artist and curator Beth Shadur -- her poems have been exhibited nationally and internationally. In November of 2004 and 2005, Roma-Deeley was one of several featured poets participating in the interdisciplinary project called "A Poetic Dialogue: Poetry: Women: Art," a Chicago Humanities Festival event. In 2006, her work was featured in the Poetic Dialogue event hosted at the International Conference on Arts in Society at the University of Edinburgh, and published in the International Journal for Arts in Society. The poetry/visual art collaboration project has toured nationally, including at the Transconference at the University of Wisconsin, as well as internationally. She is working with curator Beth Shadur on the third Poetic Dialogue project. Further, one of Roma-Deeley's poems was featured on Beth Shadur's work as part of the "Cool Globes" project in Chicago, an innovative public art project of 124 globes designed to create awareness and inspire solutions to global warming. Cool Globes was on display along Chicago's lakefront from June to September, 2007.
The poetic sequence "Voices From The Aftermath: New York City Requiem" (northSight, Singularity Press, 2006) was put to music by composer Christopher Scinto and sung by the Phoenix Bach Choir in a special "Remembrance" concert for the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Currently, she is working on a jazz opera with composer Scinto.
In 2008, Roma-Deeley won the "Making a Difference for Women Award" from the Soroptimist International of Phoenix organization.
The author has published six poetry book reviews in several literary journals, as well as serving for ten years as poetry co-editor for PKP Forum (formerly National Forum). She has taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She is available for readings, seminars and workshops.
Visit Poetry & Prose in Paradise by clicking on the link at the bottom of the Webpage and listen to five poems!
ISBN: 0-9765711-2-9, 90 pages, $24.95
Singularity Press, 2006
[glow=teal,2,300]BUY HERE, BUY NOW:[/glow]
Singularity Press: www.singularitypress.biz/