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Publish Date: September 2004
BY Katrina Vandenberg
Like Atlas holding up the world, these poems elevate patterns of all kinds with an attentiveness that transforms.In language that is quiet yet forthright, Katrina Vandenberg’s poems capture the way events reverberate and repeat across time and place, as in one poem that links the image of the poet’s sister, pausing in her work as housekeeper, with the contours of a maid in a Vermeer painting and a woman just “made over” on that days episode of Oprah. Like a literal road atlas, the poems carry lines and themes from one to the next, building and commenting on images and ideas to create a conversation. Vandenberg draws on family artifacts, memory, and imagination to plot the intersections of love, death, history, art, and desire. One part of the book, “The Red Fields of Lisse (A Love Story),” focuses on a former partner, a hemophiliac with AIDS. Linking his tainted blood to the virus that made tulips so rare and remarkable during the famous “Tulipomania” of the seventeenth century, the poems comment on the attraction of things known to be fragile and short-lived and on the many resonances of blood.
OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:
“Katrina. . . has always traced the patterns and rhythms she discovers so readily in life. In. . .Atlas, she translates those patterns and rhythms into poetry. “—Paula Evans Neuman, The News-Herald
“The debut poetry collection of Katrina Vandenberg employs a language and flair for expression that transcends time while drawing upon personal family artifacts, memories, ideas, and friends."—Betsy L. Hogan
“What a gift to have these poems in the world! Katrina Vandenberg is an expert witness to the verities, pathologies and moments. The stain of blood on this Atlas is exquisite. Here is the record of an honest pilgrim—a book of treasure maps and vital stats—a mighty work in words.”—Thomas Lynch