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Articles & Reviews

Leaving Greece

poems by Dona Luongo Stein

Recognized by the Washington Independent Review of Books as an April 2018 Poetry Exemplar!

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In her fifth collection of poetry, Dona Luongo Stein writes about Greece, its past, present, and future, with intelligence and keen insight addressing history, mythology, archaeology, as well as the fiscal crisis and influx of asylum-seekers.

POETRY / General
POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Places

Interior and cover designed by Shanti Arts Designs

ISBN: 978-1-947067-13-4 (print; softcover; perfect bound)

LCCN: 2017954460

Published by Shanti Arts Publishing, 2018

86 pages
5 illustrations

Author Biography

Dona Luongo Stein, born in Boston, is a former Wallace B. Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. She received a Grolier Poetry Prize, a Massachusetts Arts & Humanities Fellowship, a Massachusetts Arts Council Award, a Mass Arts Lottery Grant, and was an International Artist Exchange Fellow in Germany, which resulted in Alice in Deutschland (Jacaranda Press, 2011). Residencies at the Djerassi Foundation, the Dorset Center, the MacDowell Colony, the Montalvo Center for the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as the Corporation of YADDO, resulted in musical and visual art collaborations. Stein also produced and hosted The Poetry Show at KRFC in Fort Collins, Colorado, for ten years. Leaving Greece is her fifth poetry collection.

Endorsements

"In Leaving Greece Dona Luongo Stein is in fact always finding new approaches to it: Greece through history, myth, memory, interview, archaeology, and current events such as the fiscal crisis, austerity measures, and the ongoing flux of asylum-seekers. Some poems experiment with layers of history and irony, juxtaposing ancient figures with newspaper headlines.  But these poems are most successful at their most personal, as the sonnet 'Kouros,' about an ancient bronze sculpture of a youth (“Time-sloshed, pitted by salt”), with its “late/adolescent nippled chest,” that brings to Stein’s mind suddenly a memory of her own adolescent son’s bare chest 'muscled, wispy-haired' glimpsed by accident: 'we were embarrassed to embrace/ our new formal distance, loss without a trace.'" 
A. E. Stallings, author of Olives

"Leaving Greece is the fully earned title of this very beautiful book of sheer transport. Greece as the point of departure for poems that are as lucidly austere as they are sensuously alive to what Hellas still means: logos and eros and justice. But also thalassa and tragedy, as in the ending of this intensely concentrated poem about the now famous photograph of the little boy refugee, whose corpse was washed up on Greek shores:
                        Worse my friend says, when a red shirt
                        And blue pants twisted by waves are found empty.

Everywhere in this book the waves of feeling brim, without spilling over, but always deepening our sense of what it means to be human."
— George Kalogeris, author of Dialogos: Paired Poems in Translation

"In her most recent book of poetry, Dona Luongo Stein writes about Greece: past, present, and with a glimpse into the future. These poems are intelligent, evocative and insightful. Leaving Greece is a poignant and beautiful achievement."
Kathleen Spivack, author of Unspeakable Things

Articles and Reviews

Grace Cavalieri, Leaving Greece by Dona Luongo Stein, April 2018 Exemplar.
Stein has given us a multidimensional look at Greece from a personal loving perspective with history, archaeology, and legend. She seems to be seeing who she really is in a land "she waited too long to see." The order in each scene is one where time stops long enough for us to relish the view. But make no mistake, Stein does not write a travelogue; these are nuanced and intelligent assertions about a land that leads one to wonder. The poet is a vector who evokes the inner spirit of a place precisely engraved on the page. There are no lumps in this writing, for Stein’s capacity for style reveals the complex esthetics of what others might observe as a country’s basic beauty.

 

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