Poetry. While widely published in literary journals during her lifetime, THE ROAD ITSELF marks the first overview of the late Aralee Strange's poetic works. It is a tour de force that moves from the urban blight of 1980's Cincinnati Main Street to the pastoral solitude of Adams County, OH, to the Southern charms of Athens, GA, while remaining forever rooted in the heart of America, exploring in equal measure the implied complexity of its inherent beauty and tragic flaws. Her unmistakable, even voice simultaneously pitched between Old Testament scripture and The Street, these tough, restless poems aspire to and attain a clarity of language and personal spirituality. Included in THE ROAD ITSELF is her seminal poem cycle, "dr. pain on main," which captures the total fabric of city life, its complications and many textures, as well as the meditative poem-psalms that she composed on Peach Mountain in Adams County, Ohio, that led Strange to write and direct her feature film, This Train. THE ROAD ITSELF also includes art by Jay Bolotin, Frederick C. Ellenberger, Kathy Prescott, Michelle Red Elk, Art Rosenbaum, Mary Seguin and Jim Wainscott, each piece inspired by Strange's life and work. Edited and with an afterword by Mark Flanigan, and with a foreword by Pauletta Hansel, the poems in THE ROAD ITSELF seek truth in all of its hiding places, much like its author.
Aralee Strange, a poet and playwright, was born on December 5, 1943, in Macon, Georgia. At a young age she moved to Birmingham, Alabama. After living and working in Atlanta, Georgia, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New York City, New York, Aralee then settled for more than twenty years in Cincinnati, Ohio. In March 2007, she moved to Athens, Georgia, and lived there until her passing on June 15, 2013. Strange's body of work includes Etta Stone: A Film for Radio (1990), which she wrote, produced and edited at WGUC in Cincinnati and which was aired nationally on National Public Radio stations; dr. pain on main (1991), a play based on her series of poems by the same name, commissioned and produced by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; The Chronicles of Plague (1992), a play commissioned and produced by Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati; An Evening at the Sad Cafe (1995), directed scenes from her screenplay This Train, performed at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and at the Carnegie Arts Center, Covington, Kentucky; and This Train (1996-2001), a feature film she wrote, directed and edited. Throughout her lifetime, Strange also pioneered multiple open poetry readings and read regularly at regional venues. The last reading series Strange founded was Athens Word of Mouth, in Athens, Georgia; it began in 2009 and continues to this day. A sister reading series to Athens Word of Mouth, Word of Mouth Cincinnati, was founded in Strange's honor in January 2014, and is also ongoing. In April 2016, Strange's film This Train—the backbone of which was many of the poems in this manuscript—was central to a successful program at the Aronoff Center for the Arts titled "Present Tense Imperfect: Two Evenings of Spoken Word, Film, and Music."Author City: LOVELAND, OH USA