Pictures in the Firestorm
Pictures in the Firestorm is wide in scope, luminous in detail, and elegant in craft. Lauren Rusk's mastery of nuance and tone allows her to write with equal grace about 1960s San Francisco and about the enduring challenge and grief of a Holocaust museum. Her poems range from evocative glimpses of the momentary to complex meditations on art and its relationship to the world. Rusk's passion for visual art includes the sometimes difficult history of its making; her subtle wit and intelligence move in and out of the frame, always with one eye on the world outside the gallery, where too often conditions of injustice and violence prevail. Lauren Rusk does not see an opposition between art and social concerns, but embraces them both. The result is a book of poems at once fluid and urgent -- an impressive achievement, and in these days, especially, a crucial one.
Betsy Sholl, Poet Laureate of Maine, author of Late Psalm, Don't Explain, The Red Line, and other collections
When joy allies itself with the sort of uncompromisingly accurate descriptions found in Lauren Rus's Pictures in the Firestorm, the result is an immensely readable poetry, irrepressible in feeling and unoppressible in spirit. This exceptional first book takes nothing less than wholeness from intelligence. Its speaker is always game, sometimes grave, sometimes blissful, and even in the midst of our dark history ever ready for Òthis journey to encounter . . . multitudes, belongings.
William Olsen, author of Trouble Lights, Vision of a Storm Cloud, and Hand of God and a Few Bright Flowers
As Lauren Rusk's carefully wrought poems let us know, "Stories last in the dust." Here is a poet whose attention to the world seems amply rewarded by a language so graceful it practically glows. Rusk stands at the curious junctures of ancient tales at the very moments they're matriculating into 21st century passions, pastimes, and resonant regrets. Rusk's poems are made all the bolder, clearer, and dearer by how much of the bold, the clear, and the dear she allows in.
Nance Van Winckel, author of Beside Ourselves, After a Spell, The Dirt, and other collections
ISBN: 978-1891386-66-4, $14.95
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