Poetry. Art. "Both art and poetry hit the heart with pure, undiluted impact, and Travis Cebula's latest collection REFUGEE: SIX ROOMS WITH MARC CHAGALL is a beautiful and stirring example of this immediacy. Inspired by the fantastical works of Marc Chagall, he uses the paintings as a portal into that world of circus and sailboats, of lovers flying through the heavens, of goats and soldiers, Shtetls and mermaids. The poetry here is a wonder; succinct and lush at once, this collection is a stunning tribute to one of our greatest artists, interpreting and re-making Chagall's creations, so they spring to life in words."—Jill Koenigsdorf
"Travis Cebula's REFUGEE: SIX ROOMS WITH MARC CHAGALL is extraordinary work of ekphrasis, describing the fantastical work of Chagall, as well as entering in conversation with the artist. Cebula's poems explore the images of Chagall's paintings—worlds full of goats and cows, lovers and hunchbacks, angels and soldiers, clowns, mermaids, and angels—yet create their own mystical messages that live somewhere in that liminal space between life and death, wakefulness and dreaming. These haunting poems make me want to go back and look at all of Chagall's paintings again, reimagining them in the eye of the poet. But more than that, the textures language of these poems make me want to write and paint, sing and dance—they are haunting and lyrical, full of darkness, shadows, and bursts of colorful light. REFUGEE is a collection I will return to again and again."—Suzanne Roberts
"In REFUGEE, Travis Cebula keys the ekphrastic to spiritual heights, and yet, like his subject Chagall, maintains ties to the earthly grotesqueries and terrors, beauties and delights, and awkward inbetweennesses in fugitive transit through which the divine is manifest. Description here is not passive but actively caresses the inside of the paintings –'[O]h, precious jewel. / Wounded soldier will you / catch a river in your hand. ...' –a world in which to be wounded (blessé), hunted, haunted is also to be blessed by transfiguration: first into pigment, then into language. Such language."—Maria Damon
Travis Cebula resides in Colorado with his wife and trusty dogs, where he splits time between writing, photography, teaching, and restoring houses. REFUGEE is his seventh collection of poetry, and fifth published by the inimitable BlazeVOX [Books]. Black Lawrence Press published AFTER THE FOX (2014), a collaboration with Sarah Suzor. In June you can find him working on a new book and teaching with the Left Bank Writers Retreat in Paris, France. The rest of the year you can find him in a cloud of sawdust and weak metaphors.
Author City: GOLDEN, CO USA