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
What's a mother to do, besides dishes and dinners and dirty laundry? Being a mom is one of the very best "jobs" a woman can have, but sometimes it would be nice to slip away for a conference with other moms, right? Grateful mom, and now grandmother, Margery Kisby Warder invites readers to a "virtual" retreat that fits any mom's schedule and nearly every budget. Margery believes we need never outgrow our imaginative gifts, so she's prepared a "women's event" that an attendee holds in her hands. Of course a few friends could gather while little ones are preoccupied and discuss what the virtual guest speakers told about their lives as mothers. Who wouldn't want to hear from Eve? From Mrs. Noah? How about listening to wealthy Sarah and the lessons she's learned after giving birth to Isaac when she's ninety? These celebrity women of the Bible will the the presenters - but if you put the book down, you can come back to the very last word she spoke. Why, that may even be almost as good as getting together with other gals for a ladies' time away. The price of the ticket to this event is whatever you paid for the book. The worth? That depends upon how much you gather from the speakers, the author's comments, and the scriptures that are printed within the book for your easy access to them. Come on, get comfortable, the festival for women is about to begin and no one is going to take that spot reserved for you.
In this Spanish/English bilingual reader, George decides to set up his own lemonade stand to earn money for a new soccer ball.