Saturday, March 15, 2014

My South By Southwest: A Cast Iron Tempo Recollection by Elizabeth Akin Stelling

The book is finished. The launch is beginning. I've got the beginnings of the road tour, started this past week. Things are just way busy, it is more like before I began blogging. I still work for a local Princeton family, cooking and helping with their three daughters. I still cook, write, am running the publishing company, and am having a darn good time at it all.

My book was edited by three different people over the course of last year til last month. I feel really good about what it holds, my new voice, and have decided to call myself an old western revivalist poet. Just seems to fit.

I mostly post on Facebook now, for private reasons, and it is better to talk one-on-one over there. I hope all of you are doing well. I hope you are living out your days in peace. I want the best for even the snarkiest of you. Seriously, it's how I roll.

Here are some reviews for my book-

I've never been to Texas but after reading Elizabeth Akin Stellings' fine book it seems like I have. It's better than a Lonely Planet Guide in that the poet marks every locale with personal references. You learn more about Texas than if you went there. It preserves the past without sinking into nostalgia. It's a gritty description of a poet's love of a place that is gone, except in her memory and images. She shows how the land intersects with her life. She has a visual sense, shifting from the personal to the landscape, like a city scene and a still life merged together. I've never read anything like it. She proves through her writing that borders are just a state of mind.

        -       Hal Sirowitz
                   Former Poet Laureate Queens, NY
1                 1994 Recipient of NEA Fellowship, Poetry

Elizabeth Akin Stelling’s My South by Southwest presents a childhood without fences − just yards and yards of Texas fields and skies.  Her language is dense and fresh and very moving − like the surprise of falling asleep on freshly washed sheets.

          -       Shelby Stephenson, Poet
                     Former Poetry Editor, Pembroke Magazine

To recall something is to remember something from the past, to find a special moment in time and grant new life to it. Elizabeth Akin Stelling’s My South by Southwest Recollection grants new life to all regions of Texas, with a final movement east to New Jersey. The collection begins with childhood memories of cowboy culture, of boots and stirrups, of cornbread and beans, and then it culminates in one woman’s recollection of her beloved past and all of its precious images.

Stelling chooses to define her own poetics in My South by Southwest Recollection. Rather than utilizing traditional poetic forms or mechanics, she writes in the style of the Beat Generation by breaking lines for sound and rhythmic emphasis. By doing this, Stelling mimics the musical, local cultures of Texas. 

By using Texan images, dialects, and music, Stelling writes a Western experience with an inspired voice.
                                       -       Andrew Jarvis, Poet & Editor

My South by Southwest: A Cast Iron Tempo Recollection  is a provocative collection that chronicles a special quietude inside thunderstorms that unsettle both earth and heart. Elizabeth Akin Stelling is a poet prospecting as storyteller.  She masterfully unearths emotional trapdoors, unexpected complexities, humor, and the resiliency of mature love. These poems celebrate triumph, fearless honesty, and the pursuit of grace. Elizabeth Akin Stelling drowns the page in red clay misery. Her two step small talk is the language of power needed for the price you pay to roam free in harsh country.

-       Jaki Shelton Green, Author, Breath of the Song
      Piedmont, NC Poet Laureate

Go here to purchase my book- My South By Southwest: A Cast Iron Tempo Recollection