Poetry. NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE is a book of 99 poems. One endorsment called it "nothing short of breathtaking." The substance and acquity of Martina's writing demystifies itself through refractive language. Poems playfully at times, at times seriously, remeasure characterizations focusing the reader's attention on the life of the poem and the poem's intent.This book's numbered sequence of poems has no page numbers so the table of contents is a numbered list, and the pages are not devoted to a poem per page but run-on."These poems are driven by a passion both sexual and scriptural through configurations of surrender to instinctive logic and imaginative opportunities. Nothing is lost upon her. She treats each moment of each scene as her raison d'etre: Devotion to the project of creative language. The collection or series is endlessly interesting. She is an artist touched by brilliance,and her gifts simply refuse to be denied. I have been blessed in my exposure to her work, as I feel sure, you will be also. Poets, they say, are either born or made. Martina Reisz Newberry is both."—Gerald Locklin"Martina Reisz Newberry's newest collection, NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE, is nothing short of breathtaking. In poem after poem you find a generous spirit, a stunning acuity of image and vision, and, above all, her rare gift to wake us to a deeper circuitry that helps give our lives their necessary shape and substance. A truly superb collection, an absolute joy to read."—Robert Hedin"Martha Reisz Newberry may not be completely awake, but she is completely aware in these richly sensual poems. As she comes to terms with the aging of the physical body, her spirit waxes ever stronger and wiser in this mature collection. As she tells us, 'It's really about... how much dark you can stand.' But, there's plenty of understanding and enlightenment along the way. Self-reflective, quietly ironic, this poet constantly observes and attends. From the Hollywood Blvd. Wax Museum to the Burningman office, from the death of a brother to the loss of a lover, she leads us through different emotional landscapes, always grounded in beauty. Whether in a vision or a waking dream, she offers us both prayer and wind in the living, breathing world."—Robin Scofield"Transfixed by the hourglass, yearning for continuance the voices invoked by Newberry quest after ways to transcend, to keep going. Here, struggle and surrender dance their inseparable tango. Those whose lives she bids us enter exist like storm-driven kites: dipping and rising, finding the heights, fearing the line will snap. Be it rainfall of needles, pack of greyhounds, or a woman attuned to her neighbor, Newberry summons from any and each of these the place where anguish and solace collide, and—if we're lucky—resolve. Hers is a universefreely dipped in various faiths, compelled to ask 'how much dark you can stand,' even as it offers refuge."—Margot Farrington
Martina Reisz Newberry is the author of five previous collections of poems. She has been widely published in literary magazines and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo Colony for the Arts in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Djerassi Colony for the Arts in Woodside, CA, and Anderson Center for Disciplinary Arts at Red Wing, MN. Passionately devoted to her city, Los Angeles, she currently lives there with her husband, Brian Newberry, a Media Creative.