poems by Dona Luongo Stein
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
Interior and cover designed by Shanti Arts Designs
ISBN: 978-1-947067-13-4 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Published by Shanti Arts Publishing, 2018
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.
"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.'"
"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:
"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."
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