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Jacqueline de Weever’s second poetry collection, Rice-Wine Ghosts, is haunted by the flora and fauna of the Western hemisphere, “the world’s garden, /where poisons hide in glitter,/ soar and dip of bright wings.” These are poems personal rather than political or polemical, tracing brilliant moments of encounter with a voluptuous world — the British Guyana of her childhood, the Caribbean, the Andes, the Amazon, and far, far off, the Pleiades and the moon. A lemon tree in a Moroccan courtyard, sunflowers outside Florence, a dash of Japanese rice wine, the indigo blue of Canton china, a chest full of Ivory Coast batiks. Yet there is also loss: the survivor of earthquake and tsunami, “desolation stamped in her slow/ stride, humped shoulders, drooped head,” a search for a remembered star constellation that refuses to show itself, a state of coma as “death’s high priest … behind the closed door of your eyelids.” This book is a treasure-trove of voluptuous imagery and moonlit recollections of beauty, memory, and yearning. The author’s catalog of tropical flora and fruit makes up her armory: “I hoard/ jungle flowers/ to warp the hunger/ of the crocodile/ slowly approaching my shore.”

This is the 231st publication of The Poet's Press. Published December 2017. ISBN 978-0922558902. 74 pages, illustrated. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. $12.95. CLICK HERE to order from Amazon.


Version 24. February 27, 2024.

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