Available on Amazon and through Nixes Mate Books.
Available on Amazon and through Nixes Mate Books.
I am exhilarated this morning by the wonderful news of this review written by Blood Lotus: An Online Literary Journal editor, Stacia Fleegal, of my debut poetry collection, Eating the Heart First. I am so grateful for these words. I read the review over the phone to my mother and she just said, “Wow. That is mind-blowing.”
Even if I don’t sell a million copies, I have experienced, and continue to experience, great joy and pleasure from the response of so many readers. Stacia takes great care in her reading and her words are considered, inspired, and gracious.
Please read her review, and if you are so moved, buy a copy of the book, available from Press 53 for your summer reading.
My debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, published by Press 53 as a Tom Lombardo selection, is now available.
Click on the image to purchase directly from Press 53′s web site.
Also available on Amazon (may not arrive before Christmas)
For more information, or to purchase a signed copy, contact me via the email address below:
Clare L. Martin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Praise for Eating the Heart First
“Clare L. Martin is a fine young poet whose work is dark and lovely and full of a deep organic pulse. 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.”
“In her first collection, Martin deals with many common themes – motherhood, death, nature – but does so with an unsettling grace. There is an honesty and an understated tone that give each piece the right mix of tension and release. Many of the poems are exceptionally well wrought, describing loss and hope, anger and want. The most powerful piece in the collection has to be “Bread Making.” The seething anger, mixed with a dash of christian mythos, combined with flour, and sweat, all bake together into the perfect loaf.
Although described as a Louisiana poet, Martin will appeal to readers way beyond the dankness of the bayou.”
“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. In one of the late poems a crow in a dream asks, ‘Let me be a whorl of darkness— / Let me be a fist in the sun.’ All of the poems in this collection have the impact of that crow’s call and of the trope it creates. Gradually the poems reveal richly textured revelations of a heart tied to human experience in that ‘dream we cannot know completely.’ And, while we may not ever know the dream completely, Ms. Martin hands us a guidebook to dreams and to the art that uses dream and dreaming as the scaffolding from which to make something beautiful, and useful, and mysterious all at the same time.”
Hello, World! Let me move you with my words.
My debut collection of poems is now available for pre-order from Press 53 as a Tom Lombardo Selection. Click on the cover image to take you to my page where you can order it. If you pre-order, you will have your book in hand, signed by me approximately one month before the publication date of Oct. 1st.
So much of my heart went into this book, it pulses. I hope you will enjoy! Love and thanks,
THE ROAD BEFORE US
Let us travel the road before us
and enter into the mystery of trees.
Let us find the sleeping doe
attentive and aware
of the ever-wolf. I will go
and find kindling. I will set
the fire that will engage us
and carry our heaviest thoughts
upward. Clouds dwindle.
Smoke trails us like a wraith.
I am caught in it. I rise
to the web of bleak branches,
to the very tops of trees.
Tonight leafless trees
are smothered with blackbirds.
becomes the blackbird
rising to its highest—
Drifting embers smite the moon.
©2011 Clare L. Martin
Hello. My name is Clare. Welcome (again) to my website.
I purchased the domain https://clarelmartin.com/ today and will be writing here with more frequency. I hope I can count you as a reader.
I will muse upon the writing life, real-life happenings, sleep revelations, waking prophecies, earth, wind, fire—things I am passionate about and the few things I hate with passion.
Certainly, I will try to keep it interesting and valuable.
Nic Sebastian reading my poem “Eating the Heart First” at Whale Sound. (First published by Eclectica Magazine)
I’m so honored.
During my brief time at Festival International de Louisiane 2010 I saw in the crowd people who were familiar to me but I could not remember under what circumstances I had encountered them before. Perhaps I dreamed them. It was uncanny. There were at least five who were in very close proximity to me who stood out as people that I should know. And then I saw the orthopedic surgeon who operated on my fractured toes. He was with his family moving away from me further into the sea of people. I wanted to fly over the fast-moving, swinging bodies to reach him to shout: “Thank you for saving my poor mangled foot!” I wanted to catch his gaze and just say “Hello, miracle-worker!” with my eyes.
I sat on the steps of the Federal Courthouse which was very near where the TV5Monde Stage was set up. The two women sitting next to me were wearing matching rings on their left hands. I also saw two men kiss on the lips. It made me happy to see love in the open. There was something symbolic too I think in that we were surrounded by same-sex couples on the Federal Courthouse steps. I hope that is a good omen for future strides in the movement for equal rights.
The rising moon was three quarters full. The sky was blue glass-bright and cloudless. Earlier, rain had been predicted. In fact in other southern states there were terrible tornadoes! The weather couldn’t have been better for Festival—it was not too hot, breezy, and cool in shady spots.
The music sent me deeper into myself. I tried to connect with my friends through texts but we were scattered about the downtown area at different performance stages. My fear of crowds abated for a time. No one raged around me. I had my husband with me which always makes me feel secure.
I did not want to leave our spot. I could have sat on the courthouse steps until the music ended and the people streamed back to their ordinary lives beyond this wonderful creative celebration of Francophone and world cultures that are mixed so wonderfully in Louisiana. A world explodes into being in this microcosm made of music, art, food (and drink) film, visual arts, performance arts, spoken word, etc. Such is Festival International de Louisiane.
Arriving at the festival I was energized but leaving I had to stop walking after short distances to take a break and catch my breath. I am terribly out of shape. My husband noted this when we got home. He said it kindly but it still hurt to hear this truth. What have I done to myself? What grief am I holding in my body? Plainly, why do I overeat and live a sedentary life? I gained a great deal of weight and lost muscle when I broke my foot in January of 2009. And after I was rehabilitated I made several half-starts and full-on attempts at changing my behaviors to lose weight. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure a few months ago and while that is under control I know I am stressing my body— my heart and my knees especially by carrying this excess weight. My family is concerned about me and about their own health issues. I want all of us to get healthier.
I cannot continue in this unworkable way of life any longer.