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New collection from adventurous and innovative award winning Sarah Rosenthal.
In Sara Rosenthal's ESTELLE MEANING STAR, light becomes love and sometimes dust, and dust is what we share with the stars, what we fall to, but also what we need. These collaged, torn and rearranged words-now-poems had their origins in cancer journals, and now they become guides and markers for all of us as wee wanter through the skies, through our lives. Rosenthal writes, in torn and pasted words, "I'm trying to appear." Indeed, identities disappear and appear, and it is an act of courage, a trial indeed, that keeps us going, keeps us at least partially whole (an oxymoron that may belie a truth). This book is both gripping in its reality and its imaginings, and breathtaking in its visual embodiment of those states. Read this in one setting, and then again, and again. You may begin to understand the fragility and the strength of all of us.
Poetry. Art. Women's Studies.
“In ESTELLE MEANING STAR by Sarah Rosenthal, agony has wrenched language apart, decomposing it into lamentation. Dreams recorded during illness are the source for this beautiful and elemental text. Cut, sutured, disassembled, and rearranged, the words haunt the page, inhabiting the contradictory place of both dying and embodiment. As the human and inhuman draw closer together, the figure of Estelle recurs in the text as a sort of aperture between person and star, and the fact that we are made from dying stars takes on full poetic and mythic dimension. This is a searing, brilliant, compassionate dive into the conditions of our existence.”
—Camille Roy, author of Honey Mine
“Sarah Rosenthal’s new collection ESTELLE MEANING STAR offers a book-length meditation on mortality, illness, and living on the “rim” of familiar words and worlds. In a moment when the relentless production of public personas and linguistic cliches go hand in hand, ESTELLE MEANING STAR extends a humble and welcoming hand to the silences in public speech while “A phrase or sentence/limps toward me/seems to be my/damage dog.” “I’ve thanked/the thin line/that showed skin a world,” the poet writes, extending that same hand to readers in gratitude for all the ways words can break open.”
—Chris Chen, author of Literature and Race in the Democracy of Goods: Reading Contemporary Black and Asian North American Poetry
“Peril and transformative magic collide in Sarah Rosenthal’s ESTELLE MEANING STAR. This collection — textured by clipped words and letters that firmly situate the reader on this side of the veil of mortality — thrusts us forward with the intuition of a mind guiding its body to a form of safety. Not unlike how we arrange distant stars into the shapes of constellations, we thread the shifting language and imagery of Rosenthal’s poetry into a journey fit for the heroes of Greek epics, except that, here, we acclaim no hero for their triumph over threat, but for their acceptance of what cannot be conquered. If Estelle means star, it must be the one pointing us north, and I point you to this marvelous book.”
—Cortney Lamar Charleston, author of Doppelgangbanger
Sarah Rosenthal is the author of MANHATTEN (Spuyten Duyvil, 2009) as well as several chapbooks including Estelle Meaning Star (above/ground, 2014), disperse (Dusie, 2014), The Animal (in collaboration with artist Amy Fung-yi Lee, Dusie, 2011), How I Wrote This Story (Margin to Margin, 2001), sitings (a +bend, 2000), and not-chicago (Melodeon, 1998). She edited A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Poets of the Bay Area (Dalkey Archive, 2010). Her poetry has appeared in journals such as ELEVEN ELEVEN, Sidebrow, ZEN MONSTER, Otoliths, eccolinguistics, textsound, and Little Red Leaves, and is anthologized in KINDERGARDE: AVANT-GARDE POEMS, PLAYS, AND STORIES FOR CHILDREN (Black Radish, 2013), Building is a Process / Light is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim (P-Queue, 2008), BAY POETICS (Faux, 2006), THE OTHER SIDE OF THE POSTCARD (City Lights, 2004), and hinge (Crack, 2002). Her essays and interviews have appeared in journals such as Jacket, Denver Quarterly, Rain Taxi, NEW AMERICAN WRITING, and How2. She is the recipient of the Leo Litwak Fiction Award, a Creative Capacity Innovation Grant, a San Francisco Education Fund Grant, and grant-supported writing residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Soul Mountain, and Ragdale. From 2009-2011 she was an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts. She is a Life & Professional Coach and serves on the California Book Awards poetry jury.Author City: SAN FRANCISCO, CA USA