Poetry. Like King George III's apocryphal diary entry from July 4, 1776 from which this book takes its title, these poems remind us that it is only from the perspective of time and distance that we come to understand what is truly important in life. The life of poet Claudia Serea has taken her from the streets of Bucharest during the bloody overthrow of the Ceausescu regime through the experience of an immigrant in New York City and the tension and tangle of traveling back and forth between her native Romania and her newfound home in New Jersey. And like the simple clothesline on the cover that in one poem relates a tragedy and in another the exquisite beauty of the mundane, Serea's wondrously observant verse celebrates the potential in each moment, the revolutionary act of merely being alive.
Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet, editor, and translator with work published in Field, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, The Malahat Review, The Puritan, Oxford Poetry, Asymptote, and elsewhere. She is the author of six other poetry collections, four chapbooks, and three books of translations from the Romanian. She is the recipient of the Joanne Scott Kennedy Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of Virginia, the New Letters Readers Award, the Franklin-Christoph Merit Award, as well as several honorable mentions and short-lists for her poems and books. Her poems have been translated in Russian, French, Italian, Arabic, Turkish, and Farsi, and have been featured on The Writer's Almanac. Her collection of selected poems translated into Arabic, Tonight I'll Become a Lake into which You'll Sink, was published in Cairo, Egypt, in 2021. Serea is a founding editor of National Translation Month, serves on the editorial board of The Red Wheelbarrow Poets, and is one of the curators of the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Readings in Rutherford, New Jersey.