Lightning Forest, Lava Root
Erica Maria Litz
The unsayable here is all music and its delayed inflections - a kind of anger, a kind of sobbing. Erica Litz is a marvelous poet who balances crushing cityscapes against an ancestral rural life in the American Southwest and in the country of her mother, Colombia. This is a brilliant first book by a wonderful and surprising young poet.
Poet, Author of Ordinary Mornings of a Coliseum,
The Mercy Seat: Collected & New Poems 1967-2001,
and The Clouds of Magellan
In her debut collection, Erica Maria Litz has written poems she has dug out of the deep volcanic underground of her ancestral history, her lightning-a blood out of the Andean sky. She takes us along with her as her main speaker dances the moon in dreams, witnesses the transformations of one ruana (woolen cape) to a landscape, a prayer, a place to lie down. One is all. There are dances and prayers for the living and for the dead. The God she speaks of is the Creator,Chiminanagua, and all is one. Erica gives us those people who listen to a music of honey, the claw of the "r" under the tongue. Her characters are family who dance to restore their connection to a mysterious, and richly textured reality. Their visions reveal an underlying wholeness, and though they are sometimes seemingly separated by war, accident, or borders, they will remain tied, have the knowledge of the hammock, the secret of emeralds in the rain, the recipes to crack the heart open to the rhythms of the earth and sky. This is a ravishing collection.
Poet, Author of Trumpeter
and My Hand Upon Your Name
80 pages, $14.95
Poetry: American - General