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An Argument of Roots by Cornelia Veenendaal Now Available!

 In An Argument of Roots, Veenendaal takes up the character of urban life, juxtaposing natural and built environments and the historical changes that re-make cities. At the “Registry of Deeds,” a speaker declares, “Here is the volume and page,/ the street plan, 1897,// handwritten where I/ fit into the scheme of things/ enough to plant a border garden/ and kneel to cultivate it.” Staring at a “Vietnamese shop window,” the narrator recalls, “How we stood in our thousands/ out on the Common/ while the war went on with its own/ momentum.” One speaker studies a bronze statue in Boston's financial district, another hears of the suicide of a recent veteran. The city teems with stories, as Veenendaal meditates—with compassionate wisdom—on the individual in community with others and “the voice of a mockingbird/ floats out of the trees.”

—Robin Becker, author of Tiger Heron

This extra-ordinary poet is at once companionable with the natural world and wonderfully awake to the daily surprises of the city; a poet who is almost painfully attuned to the beauty that sustains us and mindful of the terrors that threaten to fell us. Over and over, Veenendaal's poems cause us to stumble upon the quotidian the way we might catch a toe on a forest snag or trip on a loose brick in the sidewalk or lurch with the sudden braking of a T car. Once we've stumbled, each poem says, Wait a moment Look. And when we pause, we discover between the lines all manner of connections with painters and sculptors, poets from many cultures and centuries, woodland creatures, urban denizens...I am quietly amazed and grateful that, like the emperor's cricket, Veenendaal is here still,/ scraping [her] colors on the hours.

—Marie Harris; NH Poet Laureate, 1999-2004

Cornelia Veenendaal is one of the founding members of Alice James Books, a cooperative press in which she published two collections of poems: The Trans-Siberian Railway, and Green Shaded Lamps. A third volume, What Seas What Shores was published by the Rowan Tree Press. She taught literature and writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston for 25 years. She has been working on poems and essays of personal history in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston, until recently, when she moved to New Hampshire.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 78 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-184-9



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