Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2017
Edited by: Elline Lipkin and Pauli Dutton
250 pages/169 poems/100 poets
Publisher: Altadena Library District
Cover art: George Gardner Symons To Order: Check the title on Amazon after April 17th.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Every anthology seeks to raise the bar on excellence, gathering within its pages the creativity and vision that its editors proffer to lovers of literature. Here, the editors succeeded in giving us a panoply of wisdom, artistry, insights, and enjoyment that will bring us again and again to this gem of a book.
Here, poets of different generations, cultural backgrounds, roots and
writing styles share their individual and collective humanity with us.
As Poet Laureate Elline Lipkin states in the Foreward of this book:
"[Poets here] all reside within the greater Los Angeles area…
Their pursuit of poetry is what brings them together in this
book, along side a love of seeking the right expression, the
phrase that best captures the sense that what they have to say
The distinguished poets here‐award winners, Pushcart Prize Nominees,
Poets Laureate, writing teachers, editors, publishers, professors, and
emerging authors‐are indeed raising the bar.
ABOUT THE EDITORS:
Dr. Elline Lipkin is Poet Laureate of Altadena Library District, 2016–2018. She is the
award-winning author of two books. The Errant Thread" and Girls' Studies. Her
poetry and scholarly writing have appeared in print and online in various journals and
publications. Lipkin is a Research Scholar at UCLA and also teaches for Writing
Workshops Los Angeles. She received an MFA from Columbia University and a Ph.D.
in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.
Pauli Dutton founded, coordinated, and edited the Altadena Library Poetry and Cookies
Anthology and public reading of dance from 2003-2014. She wrote a poetry newsletter
through 2013 and served on this anthology's Selection Committee from 2015-2017.
She has won awards for her poems and has been published in several poetry
anthologies. She recently retired after 30 years at the library.
FROM THE BOOK:
Corral of the Dead
by Thelma T. Reyna
they call it, these twin acres of stones like weary sentries in
cockleburrs and thorns, devils of dust swirling between and among.
Headstones limed and streaked by rain or tilted by spirits on neighbors,
sod crushed by mourning feet. Crude blocks soothed, smoothed
by generations of pilgrim hands who touch names and remember.
Corrals circumscribe what we grant them: bones and flesh dissolving
to dirt, histories gasped in granite and slate, measured meters of coffined
plots‐the dead now landowners in perpetuity, this spit of space theirs
to rule, to squat, to prove the dead don't die.
Corrals are circles sans beginnings, with sham promises of
holding precious things intact. We send loved ones
underground tethered by rituals and obligations, spirits and bodies
rent asunder, then plundered further by earth. In sickness and in health, with
death not doing us part, we visit corrals, pull parasite vines from marble,
bring flowers doomed to wilt by noon, pray, and resurrect doubts
about the living and the dead.
Corrals of the dead bind us, wind us so tightly, we never
let go, can never be free. Spirits intoned stay slaves on earth:
infinitely present in absentia.