Carolyn Martin’s third collection takes us to locales where the veil between the here and hereafter collapses, and we catch glimpses of the Infinite Whatever.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
In her third collection, Carolyn Martin impresses us as an enthusiastic global traveler who discovers elemental, unadorned locations where we can become our most essential selves. With Jack Kerouac and Galway Kinnell as her stylistic guides, she propels us from Puerto Vallarta to “Abroad” to Purgatory, searching for revelations. It is impossible to stop reading as we crave the next illuminated vision. The last poem startles us, beginning, “If this were my final day on earth,” but it is perfectly placed as a harbor for the fascinating ports of call. It leads naturally to the beautiful resolution, “While earth counts up its scars, take my hand. / Let’s watch the sun break free among the firs.
publisher of Solo Press
named the “Treasure of the Central Coast” by the Ventura Arts Council
Carolyn Martin’s Thin Places overflows with love poems, but not only of the romantic kind. Conspicuous are her abundant concerns with the world outside herself – the earth and its innumerable inhabitants – as much as with the everyday of her personal life. There’s more to you than you, she states in the title poem, which opens the volume. These finely tuned narrative-lyric poems also evince Martin’s perspicacious skill with linguistic texture and music too often missing in contemporary poetry, her use of assonance and internal rhyme especially masterful. Nor is she without a nearly contagious sense of humor.
Ultimately, Thin Places is a book of gratitudes, and I am grateful to Carolyn Martin for writing it.
author of Landscape with Female Figure: New & Selected Poems 1982 – 2012
Thin Places invites you on a hopeful journey from the here of home – each time you happen upon yourself – to the there of muted memory and the culmination of a life. Through the poems’ imagistic and sonic precision, the poet reminds us: Stop to notice and you’re saved. We accompany Carolyn across her backyard where, in autumn, you could “rake a pyre and jump spread-eagled / into its multi-colored heart” and across the globe where she needs “to know / … how many shovels / it would take to make the dying stop.” By the time we arrive at her closing poem, the reader believes what Carolyn maintains at the beginning: “There’s more to you than you” and accepts her jubilant invitation to watch “the sun break free above the firs.
Cindy Williams Gutiérrez, author of Words that Burn,
winner of 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama, and of the small claim of bones,
2015 International Latino Book Awards Finalist.
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