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Travis Cebula’s Ithaca is a tableau vivant at once stark in its chromaticism and subtle in its narrative precision. One thinks of the Greek Anthology, and were it not for the colors it would seem all of a piece. But this is pure poetry. Cebula is possessed of the most delicate of poetic sensibilities, and of the Muses’ frenzy, ‘with all its most, / exceeding vision and velocity’.

-Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino

Ithaca points profoundly to the past as it creates a future with hope and precision. The story of a birth, it is also the story of her coming of age, her maturity, and her death. Ithaca is everyone, no one, word-filled and silent, as we humans are. Travis Cebula in his beautiful fragments captures the essence of being in life and its conversations with itself, others, and even God.

—Maxine Chernoff

Travis Cebula’s newest offering Ithaca asks, “Who is Ithaca and what does she learn?” His complex characterization of Ithaca guided by the tender polyphony in vibrant lines such as, “the land of high renown is in murmuring too numerous,” carefully develops this question into the intricate voyage a name undertakes between ports of signification. As she alternately becomes a “frail nest, a country, or a daughter,” Ithaca encourages us to ponder, “can real love exist between their absolute if?” For Cebula, the emphatic answer is yes. By conceiving “if” as a sail tugging us through the varieties of love each transformation embodies, Ithaca evolves into a voyage that arrives at the resonant pleasure found in the pitch and roll of an imaginary country and its mellifluous citizen.

—James Belflower

Travis Cebula writes, edits, and teaches creative writing in Maryland. He graduated from the MFA program at Naropa University in 2009—the same year he founded Shadow Mountain Press. His poetry, stories, essays, reviews, and photography have appeared internationally in various print and online journals. He is the author of five chapbooks and two full-length collections of poetry. In 2011, Western Michigan University awarded him the Pavel Srut Fellowship.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 100 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-111-5


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Ithaca- A Life in Four Fragments by Travis Cebula Book Preview