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Rare Grasses, Maria Sassi's long-awaited third book of poems rings all the changes, all the joys and sorrows of a life lived to the hilt. We are gifted with love poems, praise poems, ekphrastic poems, and moving elegies. They are formal, they are free; they are very Italian, they are entirely American. They are a blessing.
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Maria Sassi, who was for several years Poet Laureate of West Hartford, Connecticut, is a prize-winning poet and playwright. Her first poetry collection, Rooted in Stars, now in its second printing, is part of The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Her chapbook What I See presents ekphrastic poems, three of which have won international poetry prizes: the René Magritte Prize and the Salvatore Dali Prize. Maria's poems have been choreographed and performed on national television, and she is the author of several plays. Among these is the verse-play Dreams and Loves of the Septre Family, which received the Bicentennial Award and was staged at Hartford's Old State House, and The Yellow Light, winner of the One-Act Prize sponsored by the Hartford Stage Company, which produced it in concert. Her prize-winning video, "Five Ocean Poems", completed with a grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, was distributed to public institutions throughout Connecticut. For many years Maria taught creative writing with an emphasis on poetry at Hartford College for Women/University of Hartford, and she has hosted poetry events at several venues including the Noah Webster House, Hartford's Old State House, and the Charter Oak Cultural Center. Her work has been much anthologized and published by many literary journals. She has read at venues throughout the Northeast and at the Poets Library in Edinburgh, Scotland; and she has lectured on the work of many national Poet Laureates. With her husband Bill, Maria Sassi lives in West Hartford.Review:
Rare Grasses, indeed! These are Maria Sassi's best poems yet: poems especially notable for their myriad descriptions of captured sound, including the exceptional "The Stuttering Riff of Cicada". They are poems of anticipation, poems of memorable people perching on a piano, or delaying starting a day of farm work, or even imagined after death as speaking in the rustling of leaves. And throughout Rare Grasses are not only perfectly realized sonnets (including one to an egg), but implicit homages to poets Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop and John Berryman. . . and flowers and the color blue abounding everywhere. Sassi's new poems, layered upon sorrow while simultaneously rising above it, are always musical, always fine, poems to be read aloud and cherished. --Dick Allen
Congratulations on the publication of Rare Grasses. It is a wonderfully diverse collection in both technical and thematic terms. Your art has deepened through the years. --Dana Gioia
Reasons abound to both respect and, more importantly, cherish the poems of Maria Sassi's Rare Grasses. My first half-dozen are their musicality, pacing, reticence, precision, tenderness and scope--and on and on their qualities gambol. I implore you to read and re-read these poems, for they are sustenance for the long haul, the best words can do to convey to another a taste of what it is to own an acute intelligence in a highly sensitive body, that of a lifelong writer who has regarded much, thought deeply, borne joys and griefs to their fullest breadth, and stayed tuned to the natural world, its creatures and its moods. Here, if you will open your heart, is the gift of truly privileged utterance. --Gray Jacobik
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Book Description Antrim House. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G1936482975I4N00