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Saturday, August 15, 2009

San Francisco Poet's New Work Published

A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities
By Joan Felfand
Published by San Francisco Bay Press
Publication Date: January 6, 2009
Paperback: $ 14.99, 74 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60461-009-3


From a review in Poetica



Expect the unexpected. In her latest collection of poetry, A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities and Streams, Joan Gelfand stuns the reader with her range of forms and styles. Whether Haiku, or Villanelle, lyric or rap, rhymed or narrative, the poems in this collection are suffused with her marvelous visual acuity, her ear for today’s language, her keen observations of the here and now.


A songwriter, producer, essayist and community organizer, Joan Gelfand is also the recipient of the Chaffin Fiction Award in 2005 for “Paris Blues Redux”. Joan’s story, “The Art Critic” was shortlisted for the Carver Prize. Her work has been published on the web and in numerous literary magazines around the world, including The New York Times Magazine, Poet’s & Writers and Vanity Fair and in a variety of anthologies. She currently serves as President of the Women’s National Book Association and also as judge of Poetica Magazine’s Annual Chapbook Competition.


A review of her 2006 collection entitled, “Seeking Center”, described her work thus: “That these edgy poems avoid sentimentality is a testimony not only to Ms. Gelfand’s metronomic irregularity - her insistence that meaning is primary - but to the sharp, jagged, always intelligent quality of her awareness.” This apt description holds true of her newest collection as well .Just when you think you have her pigeonholed, she confronts you with the unexpected: words laid bare as she drops the definite article, interrupts a line with slashes, or shifts moods from playful (another one of her talents) to profound.


Gelfand’s affinity with nature is matched by her anger and regret of how we treat our planet: In "Requiem for a Dying World," she writes:


“The taste for cash replaces
The taste for something gorgeous”


In Golden Gate, she begins with a lyric description of the landscape:


“Knife edged hills laid leisurely, deceiving”, surprises us with “But for me, the languorous red swipe taunts,” and leaves us with the haunting,
“Sometimes, distance is greater than the space
Between two points.”


A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities and Streams is an outstandingly rich, multilayered collection that rewards the reader with new meanings and nuances at every reading. And you will want to read these poems again and again.

To all of you book lovers, stop by Stories Books & Cafe, 1716 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on Friday, September 11th, 8 PM, to hear poet Joan Gelfand. California Poet Laureate Al Young had these words to say about Joan's work. "...Joan Gelfand’s poems vibrate, shudder or take flight, roaring and purring to safe and not so safe landings in the heart, in the gut. Readers, beware. This is powerful stuff.”

September 11th, 8 PM
http://www.storiesla.com/
1716 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026 (213) 413 3733

Joan Gelfand’s work has been published in over fifty national and regional publications. Her first book of poetry, Seeking Center: A Collection of Poems has been described by author Jane Swigart as “exquisite and breathtaking…reaching those secret places where we all overlap and long for validation.” Joan works as an arts administrator, organizing panels and readings at colleges and writer’s conferences around the Bay Area. Since 2004, she has been involved with the Women’s National Book Association, an organization with nine chapters and over 800 members. She is currently serving as President. Joan serves on the Advisory boards of booksbywomenforwomen.com and Poetica Magazine. An alumna both of the creative writing programs at San Francisco State University and Mills College, Joan is married to Adam Hertz, a web 2.0 entrepreneur.

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've loved. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by author names, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the index handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've loved. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by author names, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the index handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

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