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Fracas & Asylum, Poems by Zara Raab
Zara Raab's poems evoke the rainy darkness of the remote northern California coast where she and her family have lived for almost two hundreds years. They are collected in The Book of Gretel and Swimming the Eel, and now in a third book, Fracas & Asylum, which continues her journey through inner and outer landscapes characterized by alternating moods of storm, seclusion and reverie. A fourth book, finalist for the Dana Award and based on the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, is due out in 2013.
"In Fracas & Asylum, her third collection, Raab emerges as a poet of mature accomplishment, one who has come fully awake to her vocation. The mythic landscapes of her northern California childhood still resonate with dark beauty, while her themes have widened and opened outward. A bravura description of tangled shoelaces doubles as an image of the clumsiness of love; putting on a sweater becomes an existential struggle against suffocation in all its guises; writing poetry is, for her, akin to deep-sea diving. Her language is playful, even mischievous at times, always surprising and original. In her formal daring and thematic breadth, Raab bears witness to much that is broken and awry in the world and labors in her poetry toward a restoration of wholeness."-Jean Nordhaus, The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn
"The language of Zara Raab's Fracas & Asylum moves in a loose, jazzy relationship with meter, or syllabics, and rhyme. The content of this complex, fascinating book-which ranges from introspection and autobiography-or perhaps persona poems-through botany, painting, life deep in the sea or in the air-also plays sinuously against the world. At one pole this is a poetry of wit and nuance, at the other, often where the poems slope suddenly off, begin to echo, Raab brings us into touch with brute fact, the actual."- Richard Silberg, The Horses and Deconstruction of the Blues
Zara Raab's poems, reviews, and essays appear in Evansville Review, River Styx, Crab Orchard Review, The Dark Horse, and Poet Lore. A contributing editor for Redwood Coast Review and Poetry Flash, she lives near the San Francisco Bay.
ISBN: 978-1625490315, 102 pages, $19.00