In Fig Season, the poet Joan E. Bauer explores what it has meant to her to be Italian-American. She mingles stories about her own quirky family with portraits of Fellini, Frank Zappa, Diane di Prima, Pasolini, Enrico Fermi, Anna Magnani, John Fante, Elsa Schiaparelli, and more. In writing about history, culture, and family, Bauer also shares what, over time, she has learned about love and vanity, courage, and forgiveness.
Edgewood: A Fictional Memoir in Prose Couplets Poetry by Mark Belair Turning Point Books, August 2022
Edgewood, a sequel to Stonehaven, the author’s previous book, finds that story’s young, small- town, 1950s family in the booming suburbs at the onset of a new era: the Late 1960s. An era-troubled over Civil Rights and the Vietnam War-whose underlying social conflicts remain troublingly current. Edgewood uses formal strategies to create a work of fiction with the intimacy and detail of a memoir set in language looser than poetry, tauter than prose. The narrative again borrows from music the three-movement form of the sonata (exposition of themes; development; recapitulation), while the text, as in film, renders the behavior of the characters without authorial comment, leaving all interpretation to the reader. The story in each book is self-contained, but the ready resonances between the books reward a combined reading. Sample poems can be read on the publisher’s website.