I launched the book in the studio of Dragana Crnjak, and her painting students showed their work as well. Local musicians Jonathan Blackshire, Tony Armeni, Chauncey Hay, Dave Tamulonis, Gary Taneri & Josh Terlecki provided a wonderful interlude of original music. I think over 60 people came out, and the rush of a new book, being so surrounded by friends, and reading personal material was a gut punch, the good kind. (Photo credit: Arya-frencesca Jenkins)
Thank you to Laura Grace Weldon & Sherri B. Saines for these blurbs, for their generosity and care.
These poems are deeply rooted, yet in motion --- stumbling, rising, driving away and coming back from “not-home.” Their voices speak with “crackling electricity” and their bodies are “full of bees.” Karen Schubert is a gifted poet who finds meaning and rare dignity even in the darkest undercurrents of her adopted hometown, Dear Youngstown. Her words bring us back, fully, to the living complications of the places we call home.
The memory-laden landscape of Youngstown’s leanest years begins to yield moments of peace and growth, community and daring. And, oh, Youngstown, aren’t you glad to have Karen Schubert there to chronicle, challenge, and care for you. Clear-eyed and clever, Schubert takes us home with her to see her orange bedroom walls, the gardens that must be raised above the toxic earth, the art being made from scrap. “I’m saying sometimes / much is against us, then here comes / a good thing we don’t even understand” should be on a refrigerator magnet so none of us ever forget.
Sherri B. Saines, Ohio poet & Ohio University Reference Librarian