My aunt Sandra Irwin, who was nominated for a Puschart poetry prize in 2014, will publish her first poetry chapbook, Quiet, in February, 2015 from Finishing Line Press. Available for pre-order now.
Here's the blurb:
In her debut collection, Sandra Irwin paints the Southern California landscape from childhood to mature adulthood with its all its fecund lushness. Amid the treachery of the Santa Ana condition of wind and fire, Irwin enters a landscape of memory and metaphor as she searches out the exact depiction as a painter selects color, brushstroke, and tone. A poet of rare gift, Irwin’s delight in specificity leads back to truth, just under the surface. While she may delight in gorging on apricots as a young girl and or dancing an Irish jig under a treeful of Amazon parrots, Irwin’s surgeon-sure mind knows “time unfolds / without punctuation.” In moving elegies for her daughter, including the title poem “Quiet,” Irwin dares to admit that “parts of me are now missing, / and what's left has been rearranged” and that loss always leads to dissection of the heart, “content in the certainty / that truth existed / and could be found.” The collection ends with a masterful sonnet sequence inspired by the Unicorn Tapestries of the Cluny Museum in Paris in which Irwin has the young unicorn behind the lady turn away, asking, “why focus on what you can’t / have?” From the opening line to the last, Sandra Irwin’s poems will delight and intrigue readers with their honesty and wisdom. – Jeanie Thompson, author of The Seasons Bear Us
Here's a sample from the title poem:
A few months ago, near the end of the summer, we stood chatting over the fence, far in the back by the old shed with the paint peeling from the door, a hoe in your hand, trowel in mine. You talked about your only brother, I, my only daughter. Your brother talked constantly you said. I said my daughter couldn’t talk at all. You said he never recognized you, but then one day, he did. I said she wasn’t conscious, but then I placed my hand on her head and she cried, and so did I.
(You can read the rest of the poem on the Portland Review site where it was originally published.)
Sandra Irwin holds an A. B. in English from Vassar College, a J.D. from the University of San Diego, and is a 2009 graduate of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where she received a full teaching fellowship. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in SPECS, The Cold Mountain Review, Anderbo, Forge Journal, Shot Glass Journal, The Summerset Review, and numerous other literary magazines. Her poem Loss was nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize.