Thursday, April 25th, we celebrate “Eating the Heart First Day” on Amazon! Go to Amazon.com, and put “Eating the Heart First” in the search bar or click here. Buy a copy for yourself or a friend, or two for both of you. We want to make a great showing; but more importantly, we want to share this book that we sincerely believe in. Thank you!!
These keen, visceral and haunting poems were written for human beings. Their creator, Clare L. Martin, has expressed deeply-felt and deeply-known human experiences through them. We want you to read Eating the Heart First because it was written for you. The sample poem, “Naked,” at the bottom of this post is the opening poem of the collection.
Just the title of this collection, Eating the Heart First, gives the reader a hint of what can be found within its pages: darkly powerful poems about love, dreams, and the swamps of Martin’s native Louisiana. These poems will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on the reader.
Eating the Heart First was published October 2012 by Press 53. Poems from this collection have appeared in Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Literary Mama, Louisiana Literature, and more. Martin’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web, Best New Poets, and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net.
“Clare L. Martin is a fine young poet whose work is dark and lovely and full of a deep organic pulse,” says Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America. “Like the landscape of her beloved Louisiana, her work is alive with mystery. You could swim in this hot water, but there are things down inside its darkness that might pull you away forever. It is an exquisite drowning.”
More praise comes from Darrell Bourque, former Poet Laureate of Louisiana and author of In Ordinary Light, New and Selected Poems and Megan’s Guitar And Other Poems from Acadie, who says, “Clare L. Martin pulls off an impressive balancing act in her debut book of poems, Eating the Heart First. In this collection, divided into three sections, she manages trust of her intuitive powers while she tats her findings onto poems built with technical expertise. She is a believer of dreams, and the whole of the work can be read as an oneiric treatise guided by the powers she believes in: the power of memory, the power of water, the power of moons, the powers of longing, and the power of love.”
Clare is a lifelong resident of Louisiana, a graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a member of the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective and a Teaching Artist through the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Martin founded and directs the Voices Seasonal Reading Series in Lafayette, LA, which features new and established Louisiana and regional writers.
Eating the Heart First
Poetry by Clare L. Martin
Publication date: October 1, 2012
Size: 8.5 x 5.5 inches, 90 pages
Price: US $12.95
I am the woman
naked before the mirror.
I am the haunted woman
wincing at self-recognition.
I know this muscle that beats
hard in my chest
and grows stranger
as I know it.
I slave in the garden,
lopping mad roses,
shredding their iron tongues—
At midnight I soak
my bridal veil with gasoline
and set it afire. I dance around,
around and curse you ceremoniously.
I do not reach for you in sleep.
I keep my dream secret.
What remains is sexless, loveless.
I cannot give you what I do not have.
In a morning tryst,
my lover tells me fables of skin
and I crave you—
Clare L. Martin, Eating the Heart First (Press 53, 2012)