DECEMBER 12, 2023 -- What if we "Fast forward a hundred years?" as the first poem in The Book of Leavening asks. Would our "voices turn votives: every hour/ candling from windowsill to sea"? Would we "find fortune in last casts of light?" These poems are deeply concerned with imagining a future far beyond our current lives.
Through free verse poems mixed with ghazals, the poet considers not simply the joys and storms of our current lives, but also how those joys and storms will ripple into future generations. Wrestling with questions of how the personal affects the universal, these poems interrogate milestones and rituals--marriage, childbirth, the loss of friends and relatives--to explore how these common passages feel from the inside. They also question the vows we make, personally, and as a civilization: "What can I do to love/ the way I promised?"
What happens, when our world seems to make it ever more difficult to define and live out one's values? What does one hear, when one listens deeply to what the landscape tells us? This narrator finds hope and even salvation in that deep listening; as she states, "I listen at times to backs of bread,/ backs of books, fronts of hands. Listen/ so long, I question if anyone courts/ noise anymore." There may be no simple solutions--but, through the act of paying close attention, and directing compassion at what she sees, the poet shines a light on a hopeful path forward.
About the Author
Rebecca Givens Rolland is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Author of The Art of Talking with Children (HarperOne, 2022), she has an MFA in fiction from Lesley University and teaches at Harvard. She is the winner of the May Sarton New Hampshire First Book Prize for her first poetry collection, The Wreck of Birds. She has published two chapbooks with dancing girl press. Her poems appear in the Kenyon Review, Cincinnati Review, Gettysburg Review, Poetry Northwest, and Poets.org.
ABOUT THE PRESS
Unsolicited Press strives to produce exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from award-winning authors. Unsolicited Press is based out of Portland, Oregon and focuses on the works of the unsung and underrepresented. As a womxn-owned, all-volunteer small publisher that doesn’t worry about profits as much as championing exceptional literature, we have the privilege of partnering with authors skirting the fringes of the lit world. We’ve worked with emerging and award-winning authors such as Shann Ray, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Brook Bhagat, Kris Amos, and John W. Bateman. Learn more at unsolicitedpress.com. Find us on twitter and Instagram, @unsolicitedp.
THE BOOK OF LEAVENING is available on December 12, 2023 as a paperback and e-book (all major retailers). Retailers, schools, and libraries can order copies through Ingram. The author is open to speaking with the media, holding readings, and engaging in other author opportunities.
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