Poetry. With its many thematic riffs and harmonic phrasings, Lois Roma-Deeley's newest collection of poems invites the reader into the shadowy jazz scene of the late 1950s, where music and language fuse into a road of longing and desire. This book won the Benu Press Samuel T. Coleridge Prize. Benu Press awards The Samuel T. Coleridge Prize for "an outstanding work of literature, written by a contemporary author, that fulfills Coleridge's vision of the artist as a reconciling architect of the imagination. Such a work reconfigures our understanding of the world to establish new meaning in a future transformed by hope."
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Her second book, northSight (2006), earned her a nod from the Los Angeles Book Prize nominating committee and received critical praise. Roma-Deeley has won numerous awards and honors for her poetry, including awards for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition and the Emily Dickinson Poetry Competition, and recognition as a finalist in the Paumanok International Poetry Contest. She has published in eight national anthologies, including forthcoming work in The American Voice in Poetry: the Legacy of Whitman, Williams, and Ginsberg as well as American Book Award winner Looking For Home and Letters to the World. In addition, Roma-Deeley was nominated for Arizona Governor's Arts Awards and the Pushcart award. Further, her work has been featured in--or are forthcoming in-- numerous literary journals nationwide, including,5 AM ,Studio,Superstition Review, Artful Dodge, Italian Americana, Paterson Literary Review, Water~Stone, Iris, Faultline, Columbia Poetry Review, Comstock Review, Elixir, Controlled Burn, Confluence, Sow's Ear (competition finalist), Iris, and many others. Her work appears on BestPoem.com. In collaborations with visual artists on several ekphrasis projects most recently with visual artist and curator Beth Shadur Roma-Deeley s poems have been exhibited nationally and internationally. In November of 2004 and 2005, Roma-Deeley was one of several featured poets participating in the interdisciplinary project called "A Poetic Dialogue: Poetry: Women: Art," a Chicago Humanities Festival event. In 2006, her work was featured in the Poetic Dialogue event hosted at the International Conference on Arts in Society at the University of Edinburgh, and published in the International Journal for Arts in Society. The poetry/ visual art collaboration project has toured nationally, including at the Transconference at the University of Wisconsin, as well as internationally. She is working with curator Beth Shadur on the third Poetic Dialogue project, "Collaborative Vision." This pairing of 31 poets and visual artists is a featured show at the Chicago Cultural Center from January through April 2009. Further, one of Roma-Deeley's poems was featured on Beth Shadur's work as part of the "Cool Globes" project in Chicago, an innovative public art project of 124 globes designed to create awareness and inspire solutions to global warming. Cool Globes was on display along Chicago's lakefront from June to September, 2007. The poetic sequence "Voices From The Aftermath: New York City Requiem" (northSight, Singularity Press, 2006) was put to music by composer Christopher Scinto and sung by the Phoenix Chorale (formerly Phoenix Bach Choir) in a special "Remembrance" concert for the fifth anniversary of 9/ 11. Currently, she is working on a jazz opera with composer Scinto. In 2008, Roma-Deeley won the "Making a Difference for Women Award" from the Soroptimist International of Phoenix organization. Roma-Deeley has published six poetry book reviews in several literary journals, as well as serving for ten years as poetry co-editor for PKP Forum (formerly National Forum). She has been a fellow at the Ragdale Foundation many times. Roma-Deeley has received grants for her writing from "Poets and Writers," Chicago Humanities Festival, Scottsdale Cultural Council and Tempe Cultural Council. Roma-Deeley has taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels for more than 2Review:
Containing riffs and improvisations in various keys and tempos, Lois Roma-Deeley's High Notes captures the starkness and despair of the late 50s jazz scene, where every blues number is fueled by alcohol, heroin, and guilt. High Notes unrolls like a period film in blacks, whites, and all the shades of gray, telling the intertwined stories of four characters who can endure anything except the absence of hope. --R.S.Gwynn
In the emotionally rich and technically varied rhythms of High Notes, the voices of four men and women, black and white, negotiate between the excitements of jazz and the constrictions of poverty and drugs, accompanied and overseen by an angel's presence. Jazz "greats" make cameo appearances in this lyrical, fragmented narrative, but the spotlight is on the invented characters. From sonnets and other fixed forms to jazz-inspired improvisations and prose poems, the book's shifting styles reflect the characters' complex lives. Incomplete, unresolved, hovering between tragedy and redemption, their story stays with us. --Martha Collins
The poetry is terse and direct, packed with significance. She creates language to capture a beautiful experience, the music of the lines alternate between dark and bright, sad and happy, mean and sweet. This is pain poetry, pain endured, celebrated, loved and danced to. This poetry tastes blood but not the blood of hospitals or healing, but of open wounds getting wider, deeper, unforgiving. It's taut, tough, in your face and orchestrates like a mad symphony of howls and laughters and blues, blues, blues baby, that burn to read. It's a clean, crisp, starlight fire, that'll lead you back to your life purpose and make you rethink and reshape your view of life. --Jimmy Santiago Baca
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Book Description Benu Press, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 67 pages. 9.10x6.10x0.60 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0981516386