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LA Review on ANTIDOTE FOR NIGHT

Marsha de la O's new collection Antidote for Night was recently featured in the Los Angeles Review.

The review focuses on the construction of de la O’s poetry, which often strays from normalcy: "Faithful to the advice of Robert Bly, that early translator of the Spanish-language surrealists and advocate of 'leaping poetry,' de la O braids narrative, weaving rhythm and melody into un-ravel-able wholes. 'Whistle Keeps on Blowing,' a meditation on the life and art of jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong, begins in the middle, jumps to the end, circles back to the beginning, and then returns to the middle, that apotheosis of life and art at the fullest."

The also review talks about the impact of her work in a modern context that doesn’t have to be modern: "It is this earth, its fullness and its losses, that she sings. Her people, events, and themes are common enough—parents, children, lovers, illness and death—but they are translated out of a modern context (as in "What It Takes"), 'to a place where words trail off in a tangle of fireweed and sumac.' Science, technology, media and manners have no lasting impact here on this deeper humanity.

"In the title poem of Marsha de la O’s new book, there is no antidote for night. Night—the domain of dream and death—is the price we pay for life and imagination. It is the without which not of art and love, and we make our accommodation with it as best we can. No one knows what terror or delights the next dreamscape will offer, and part of the charm of de la O’s poems is their utter unpredictability. She has studied her Neruda and Vallejo and concluded that the art of poetry involves giving readers not what they want but what they need."

Reviewer Lee Rossi calls this a "a magical book," because "the poems themselves are charms, incantations, hexes and prayers. They offer an old-fashioned remedy for a contemporary soul sickness."

Click here to read the full piece from the Los Angeles Review.



Antidote for Night is available now at the BOA Bookstore.


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