LAUREN BACALL SHARES A LIMOUSINE celebrates women--famous, infamous, the fictional and the footnote, from Frida Kahlo to a Civil War soldier to the mother of Louis Braille to Mata Hari to Dorothy of Oz to Janis Joplin, and many more--in this irresistible and overflowing fountain of witty, sparkling and sensitive poems in voices. Poet Susan J. Erickson seemingly absorbed all the fascinating biographies and telling details of these women's lives, then spilled out poems that brim with memorable metaphor and insight. I'm reminded how profoundly and efficiently a poem can express human experience, and that women's experiences, never doubt it, are boundless.
--Kathleen Flenniken, author of PLUME
In LAUREN BACALL SHARES A LIMOUSINE, Susan J. Erickson reinvigorates the tradition of the dramatic monologue. "I sit still," reflects Lucy, the wife of John James Audubon, during a silhouette cutting. "The scissors know only / the shape of what is, / not what will be." Explaining her love for F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda recalls, "Because he moved with the grace of a fencer / dueling with his shadow." But the women of these pages are more than wives; they are pilots and prisoners of war, makers and musicians, actors and artists. One of several standout ekphrastic sequences invokes Georgia O'Keeffe's sense of the Southwest landscape: "a place that picks clean / the gristle and fat of regret." Equally inventive is the collection's play with occupying outside texts--Zelda's "recipe" for bacon and eggs, Marilyn Monroe's self-portrait as the menu items at Schrafft's--and received forms such as the abcedarian and the pantoum. Erickson has a gift for arresting openings, as when "Emily Dickinson Introduces Her Blog" "Propelled by chance's cosmic pull / This Thing called Internet / Allows me from my garret space / To publish this gazette." Clever, haunting, voluptuous, and nervy in turn, these poems challenge our understanding of womanhood across two continents and three centuries.
--Sandra Beasley, author of I WAS THE JUKEBOX and COUNT THE WAVES
In Susan J. Erickson's highly-crafted collection of poems, LAUREN BACALL SHARES A LIMOUSINE, we return to the women who came before us. From the well-known Frida Kahlo and Marilyn Monroe to the lesser-known Monique Braille and Lucy Audubon, these poems offer surprise, delight, and poignancy. Erickson's sharp sense of play and imagination is her signature on these poems--the Venus de Milo dresses for a Halloween party, the Little Mermaid joins the Aquatic Arts Academy. The reader is rewarded with every turn of the page as the lives (both real and imagined) are spoken, explored, and expanded. Here, women stretch in the spaces "of the calm and chaos of sunrise and sunset, / the shimmer of amber, / the roar from the lion's mouth." Smart and accessible, these poems satisfy our desire for stories, and Erickson doesn't disappoint. Recommended for every bookshelf.
--Kelli Russell Agodon, Author of HOURGLASS MUSEUM & THE DAILY POET
"I was an eye-witness to the sinking of the Bismarck!" Ray Lock was an eye-witness to the sinking of the German battleship, Bismarck. In these memoirs recalls details of this epic battle, as well as many other memoirs from his fascinating life. Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories is another good book, produced privately, that we are fortunate to be able to read and learn more about a sailor's war. A very well presented book, nicely printed, good quality photographs and most of all very interesting. from Warship World Ray Lock, a South African, tried to join the South African Air Force at the age of 16 as a pilot. Told he would have to wait, he like many others went to a service that would take him, then and there. He thought the war would be over by the time he allowed to join the air force. Joining the Royal Navy instead, he had in fact lots of time to get involved in some well known and some lesser, but equally important actions. Throughout this book is packed with detail and without doubt will prove of interest to those who like the nitty, gritty of Naval Life. The author served on DORSETSHIRE, prior to the BISMARCK action for some time and until the ships loss in the Indian Ocean, where he was wounded Both CORNWALL and DORSETSHIRE were sunk by Japanese aircraft attack. The survivors, many wounded, including Mr Lock, were then machine gunned in the water. Sighted by an aircraft, the group was rescued by HM Ships ENTERPRISE, PANTHER and he was personally picked up by PALADIN. After extensive recovery time in hospital Mr Lock was selected for Officer Training, after which he was seconded again to the Royal Navy. Further service in small craft including HDMLs in the Mediterranean with even more operational diversity concluded the author's war. This is another good book, produced privately, that we are fortunate to be able to read and learn more about a sailor's war. This one is beautifully presented. FROM WARSHIP WORLD "I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the rich and varied life of the author, including being an eye-witness to the sinking of the Bismarck. Young readers will be especially interested and fascinated by Ray's well-written experiences from an earlier generation....and the horrors of war. A most revealing, interesting and excellent read!" Available as an e-book (Kindle) at http: //www.amazon.com/dp/B005H93F4W Also available in paperback at CreateSpace eStore: https: //www.createspace.com/4331896