Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Last of Her Village

“My horoscope advises: notice connections to your childhood
. Women and men the age my parents were
when they died are everywhere.
One has my mother’s hands. She weaves insights
like soft cloth, holding it to my shoulders when I chill.”

This is the ending of a magical, fearless poem called “Festival of Lights Revisited” by Yael Flusberg. (In March 2010, Yael dazzled my students at New College of Florida when I invited her to be a Guest Poet there. I took this photograph during her New College reading.)

Yael is a yoga teacher, a healer, and a writer. You can hear her talk about braiding these three roles together in a radio essay that aired on WAMU, American University Radio:
Therapy And Yoga At Walter Reed

On the first day of autumn, last September, "Festival of Lights Revisited" arrived in my mailbox, as part of Yael's first poetry chapbook. I have read all the chapbook's poems before. Some of them, a half-dozen times. I sat down that fall equinox and read them again. (A poem is never to be read just once, nor twice.)  As I prepare to spend a week with Yael in her home in Washington DC, some of her poetic lines are scrolling through my mind.  

The Last of My Village is a collection about moving through a year, moving through a life, letting what is not needed fall away, and learning not to need what has fallen away.

The Last of My Village won Poetica Magazine’s 2010 Chapbook Prize. Read it.

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