Tag Archives: chapbook

I have some exciting news to share!

Hi guys! Remember me?

I know it’s been quite a while…but for good reason, I promise.

I’ve been keeping most of my writing under wraps because I’ve been working on my very first chapbook, and I am excited to announce that it is finally finished, and available for purchase on Amazon in both print and Kindle e-book form. I decided, at least for now, that self publishing was the best path for my work. The cover art was done by my great friend and tattoo artist, and I am over the moon with how it turned out. I can only hope the poems inside live up to the beautiful cover.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of my debut chapbook, all these things that haunt you, just head on over to Amazon!

Or, click this link.

Thank you all for the support you’ve given me on my blog over the years. I really hope you enjoy this chapbook; it’s been an exciting ride putting it together, and every piece is near and dear to me. Some you may have seen before, but most are brand new.

And if you do choose to purchase one, don’t forget to leave me a review on Amazon!

Thank you again. I’m looking forward to taking a breather and delving back into WordPress for a while. See you all around!

 

xo,

Nicole

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A Secret of Long Life: Familial Heartache & Happiness in Elegant, Timeless Fashion

a secret of long life

Poet Liz Dolan paints the ordinary in passionate hues in A Secret of Long Life, a collection of poems that move across the page with the sweet, haunting ache of memory. From now distant days as a Catholic school girl to the death of a young brother that still lingers, Dolan drags us through every human emotion via very simple, very real human experiences.

With a chapbook sliced into four equally heavy parts, Dolan begins our journey with stories of her mother, glimpses into her childhood, and the first gut-wrenching look at a small brother lost too soon. In “The Boy Who Swings on Our Line”, a young girl watches as the ghost of her sibling dances through the family laundry hung out on the line. Dolan writes, “From the open window / I see as he swells my father’s overalls, / crooks the knees and bellows as though / with Dad he flags the six a.m. from Darien.” The poem ends in childlike melancholy, with the girl telling her brother to leave the family alone. “I am not sure / if I want him to stay and play. I lie. / Go, release us all from your awful presence, / airborne shape-shifter, powerful child, so we can smell fresh cotton against our pasty cheeks.”

Dolan depicts the nuns of her youth as elegant, damaged powerhouses, a refreshing step back from a usually stone-like stereotype. Her admiration for her teachers shines through in pieces like “I Longed to Be as Lovely”, in which she describes Sister Purissima “in her opal linen gown / her tanned cheeks backlit by her veil / like an angel surprised.” Each piece continues to sway and swoon from memories of death, family and school days, pausing occasionally to smile and turn to face something purely innocent, as is shown in the lighthearted “Sunday at the German Bakery” where a girl dreams of a boy “who clerked at a bakery, slipping his fingers in and out / tying the knot on the white box.” She is taken with him and delivers imagery we can almost taste, with “hot-crossed lovers nibbling / apple cobbler, yolked together / hobbling along until the glaze wears off.” Part Four carries us into Dolan’s later years, her life still intertwined with life and death, now as a mother and grandmother. With grace she describes her grandson with Down’s syndrome, taking care to maintain her love and admiration for him and the patience of her own daughter.

Dolan’s poetry is real, it is grainy, and in the best way it is plain. Every word crawls from the page with a simplicity that makes it all so very relatable; and that is just what keeps us contemplating the beauty in every piece. A Secret to Long Life is a collection of family history that will remain timeless even after the pages have yellowed.

Purchase Liz Dolan’s A Secret of Long Life here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Long-Life-Liz-Dolan/dp/0692311823

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Therese Halscheid’s Frozen Latitudes: Coming full circle through tales of life, love and loss.

 

Therese Halscheid walks us to the edge of a sea of emotions in Frozen Latitudes, a heart-wrenching collection of poems that focuses on a daughter’s flailing attempts to understand a father’s dementia, woven effortlessly with stories of an Alaskan landscape and its people.

Halscheid starts our journey with a quiet forcefulness that even in its modesty rises from the page and pulls us in. “I want to break through/mouth open,” she writes, “sentence after sentence moving words/over the winter earth/my father out of me.” The last line stands alone at the lowest point of the page, already leaving us with something to consider long after the story is over.

The author’s intimate descriptions of an early Alaska sky and the heavy words of the families living below it is evidence enough of her time spent there. Halscheid worked with an Inupiaq Eskimo tribe on White Mountain, and received a residency in Homer. In an aching piece entitled “Clan of the Owl – tale of an Inupiaq tribe”, Halscheid speaks of a man who lost his son when his snowmobile broke through the river’s ice. A white owl appeared in the sky at the time of his son’s death, a symbol of the tribe’s belief in the afterlife and the intimate connection between human and animal. “The way Rose tells it was like the spirit of his son/was in the form of an animal and there/was a strange light around and wind like/a slight brushing of feathers and feathers as/the sound of death passing through to/the other side of the world.” Stitching together this understanding of life and death through the eyes of the Eskimos with her own confusion at her father’s failing health creates a beautiful and undulating story of life from one culture to another.

As Halscheid moves us through more flashing moments of family, illness and those mutual emotions that connect us all as humans, she also interjects with fleeting tales of deep love, and in one poem describes the body as something readable, with “shoulder blades arched/like sides of an open book.” “Love, I want to say, I want to say, love/touches the body, the entire body, Let it be.” By the very end we are swooning, and the author is dancing in our wake. “The room is an open tale, let us say the ceiling has stars:/wishful, burning, exploding to earth.”

By the end of the book things have come full circle, and while there is a small bit of resolve there is also new darkness on the horizon that leaves us with tension in our shoulders, a pang in our hearts and a strange understanding of the sometimes grisly workings of the universe. Therese Halscheid’s collection is one to keep on your nightstand, with each page dog-eared in a continuing attempt to uncover every secret behind her words.

Purchase Frozen Latitudes here:

http://www.amazon.com/Frozen-Latitudes-Therese-Halscheid/dp/1941209122

Get more from Therese Halscheid here:

http://www.theresehalscheid.com/

 

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