Thursday, May 28, 2015

Maryfrances Wagner launches DIORAMAS, 7 pm May 28, Raven Bookstore

See Maryfrances Wagner read from her new Mammoth book DIORAMAS, at Big Tent, 7 pm May 28, 7 East 7th St. (Raven Bookstore) in Lawrence! In an upcoming review, Charlotte Mandel writes, "These poems gift us with vibrant vignettes." Here's a sample:


Flutter and sputter, they motored in spurts.
They wobbled, tottered, popped from shrubs.
In their climb they lumbered one leaf at a time.
Shells clung to fences, bark, flower stems.
Mud tombs funneled the earth, life
in reverse. For days they spiraled up,
lopsided as choppers carrying heavy loads;
their voices were engines trying to turn.
Within a week, the full throttle of clack
and whine trilled from the highest limbs,
a bacchanal we couldn’t unplug. On every
walk one spun like a toppled windup toy
or reflected its iridescence from gutter
or lawn until one day the last sputter
fizzled out, and they were gone.

(c. 2015 Maryfrances Wagner. Used with permission)

About DIORAMAS: Maryfrances Wagner reinvents the process of memory as she guides readers through living tableaux of her past. Her views of Italian American life in the heartland annotates a rich cultural heritage. This award-winning poet shares a rich store of vivid imagery and passion, whimsy and reflection. Maryfrances Wagner lives in Kansas City, where she is a literary advocate and community builder. Wagner's writings about Italian American life have been anthologized by Pearson/Longman and others. Her work appears in New Letters, Laurel Review, Birmingham Review, Nebraska Review, Midwest Quarterly, and others. Her previous books of poetry include Salvatore's Daughter (BkMk), Red Silk (Mid-America), winner of the Thorpe Menn Book Award for Literary Excellence), and Light Subtracts Itself (Mid-American). She co-edits I-70 Review. William Trowbridge, Poet Laureate of Missouri, writes, "The poems in Dioramas focus mainly on moments lost to the sneak-thief Time, moments sometimes observed with an apt touch of humor. Whether she's writing about her Italian brother's blip of fame dancing past a lower corner of the TV picture in an Arthur Murray Party broadcast or about a good friend dying of AIDS or about the evanescent beauty of cicadas, Maryfrances Wagner does so with passion and craftsmanship, showing what a gifted poet with a generous heart can do."