Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Translated by Andrea Lingenfelter. In poetry and prose, Ann Slayton takes on wide-ranging subjects, sometimes imagining herself into an array of voices—rarely does she write in first-person—among them, the historical Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), "We Have from the First Been Singers;" Hester Prynne's young daughter Pearl, "The Spell;" even Henry Moore's great sculpture, "Reclining Figures at Lincoln Center." In "Western Primitive," frontier photographer Ben Wittick poses Geronimo, Chief Strange Horse, and Calamity Jane in his studio: "'Calamity,' he says, 'I don't know what Wild Bill / sees in you. I hear they call you / the White Devil of the Yellowstone. / Now show me what the damned creature looks like. / And hold it.'" With a bold clarity, the tone of these poems is characterized by a precision of detail and cadenced rhythms as they move between meditative explorations and social satire in works such as "Nothing Again Is Happening," "Partly Mozart, Mostly Turkey Club," and "Everyone Was a Real One but Gertrude:" "Alice and I sat in the shadows / of the salon drinking tea / and talking hats with Fernande / while from the hive that Gertrude / made with Ernest and Pablo and / a heap of Persian rugs."
Ann Slayton is the author of two chapbooks, The Music Beginning Here and Catching the Light. She has been engaged in writing and editing in her public affairs work at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in community arts projects. One of the founders of the Washington Women's Arts Center, she organized and presented exhibitions, workshops, discussions, and readings. Her poems and essays have been published in literary/arts journals, among them, Ms Magazine, Southern Poetry Review, Poet Lore, Washington Review, and in several anthologies. She and her husband live in Takoma Park, Maryland, and divide their time between Takoma Park and Craftsbury Common, Vermont.Author City: TAKOMA PARK, MD USA