Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mercy Island - Ren Powell (Phoenicia)

The forty-one poems of Mercy Island, written by Ren Powell between 1998 and 2010, depict a coming of age that begins in a claustrophobic American trailer park and expands into the kind of borderless existence shared by all emigrants and homesick travelers.

Throughout this journey, the poet’s fears—which are the fears we all harbor—are balanced by her unflinching witness to what is real, just, true, and beautiful. Even in the face of pain and disintegration, the poet refuses to relinquish her humor or her humanity. Mercy Island: New and Selected Poems is Ren Powell's first collection to be published in North America. A preview is available online: Mercy Islands - preview.

An interview by Fiona Robyn on the collection, and on observance, routine, masculinity/femininity, routine, poems as a dialogue with the world, and the editing process, is up at: Writing Our Way Home: An interview with poet Ren Powell, and here's a new off-the-wall Woodrat podcast with Dave Bonta.

Ren (Katherine) Powell is a writer, translator, poet, and native Californian living on the west coast of Norway. She has published four full-length collections of poetry and eleven books of translations, and her poetry has been translated and published in six languages. Ren has a BA in Theater Arts and received her doctorate in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in England in January, 2011. She has taught theater and drama at a performing arts school for ten years and her dramatic works have been performed in the U.S., Canada and Norway. The founding editor of the online literary journals Protest Poems.org and Babel Fruit: Writing Under the Influence, Ren also represented Norway on the International PEN Women Writers’ Committee, and helped establish the International Cities of Refuge Network in Europe.

About Phoenicia Publishing
Phoenicia Publishing, located in Montreal, publishes poetry, non-fiction, fiction, and photography, and is interested in "words and images that illuminate culture, spirit, and the human experience." The press's founder, Elizabeth Adams, says that a particular interest is on writing about travel between cultures — whether literally or more metaphorically — with the goal of enlarging our understanding of one another through experiences of change, displacement, disconnection, assimilation, sorrow, gratitude, longing and hope.

Ren Powell: Mercy Island: New and Selected Poem
poetry collection
100 pages; $13.95
(pdf-file: 7.50)

related links: human condition, bilingual author, poetry

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