The Ventura County Reporter has high praise for Marsha de la O and her newest collection Antidote for Night, just released this month by BOA Editions. A Ventura, CA, resident, de la O says her work often explores "a connection between geography and psyche." Southern California may be the main character in de la O's new book, but reviewer Nancy Lackey notes that while many artists have focused on the region, "few see through it with such a personal lens, or with such a yearning for the something better that must be on the other side. "Antidote for Night is visceral, often looking squarely in the eyes of death and violence. In particular her musings on certain young men of color—some she knew growing up, others her students during 25-plus years as a bilingual educator in Los Angeles and Santa Paula—stand out, if only for their timeliness, being published as they are in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner and Walter Scott at the hands of police." The review continues, "[de la O's] poetry is a dark journey indeed, but it never stops striving for the light. Set against the backdrops of Los Angeles, Ventura County, Riverside, the Mojave and Sonora Deserts, and covering decades that start in her childhood in the 1960s and run through today, it’s a trip through familiar territory, on both a physical and an emotional level." Though set in a specific region, de la O's poem's remain expansive and timely. Lackey concludes that "despite these delvings into loss and fear and mortality, there are glimmers of hope." Read the full review at the Ventura County Reporter, and order Antidote for Night today!
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