The Night of the Lunar Eclipse

by Margaret Szumowski

$16.95

In The Night of the Lunar Eclipse, her second collection, Szumowski explores the roots of our culture while remaining true to her own. Time collapses in this collection, melding the images of our past: arch angels and ancient Rome with a saloon somewhere in east-nowhere Frackville, creating a unique texture to her work that is light, loving, and just this side of ecstatic.

Format:  paperback

ISBN: 978-1-932195-23-1 Categories: , Tag:

In The Night of the Lunar Eclipse, her second collection, Szumowski explores the roots of our culture while remaining true to her own. Time collapses in this collection, melding the images of our past: arch angels and ancient Rome with a saloon somewhere in east-nowhere Frackville, creating a unique texture to her work that is light, loving, and just this side of ecstatic.

Szumowski’s work unravels the tenderness from each subject with gentle and eager wordplay that scintillates the heart as it pierces with sublime purity. In her poems, the sensitive, aching of the human heart reminds us that the real world is still in motion — its inhabitants clinging to something beautiful — even after we have reached the final page.

“I value this book for its ecstasies, its griefs, and the intensity and strength of its utterance.”—Elinor Wilner

“In Night of the Lunar Eclipse Margaret Szumowski dances a delicious and wild step where desires are embodied in almost everything touched and seen. In her world, the ordinary quivers in its skin ‘with the light from our rough bodies,’ and ‘tedious houses and one-way streets begin to mambo, mambo.’ Even within the darkness cast by many losses, some other light begins to burn. These poems are convincingly ecstatic. The beloved is everywhere, and each particular place, vividly evoked, perches on the rim of paradise.” —Rebecca Seiferle

Girl turned to stone

The dog’s alarmed face

Her feet are terrified, toes frozen apart

The way his hand digs into her thigh

How sorry I am for those tender breasts

Look at the grip he puts on her waist

She tries to force his head back

Break it! Break it!

Cerberus can’t bear to watch this

The dog has heart

Additional information

Weight .4 lbs
Dimensions 6 x .5 x 9 in

Margaret SzumowskiMargaret Szumowski grew up in Winterset, Iowa, the oldest of seven children. She learned to tap dance and twirl a fire baton – An experience that required wrapping the end of the baton in asbestos, dipping it in kerosene, then lighting it and hoping for the best. Twirling with fire and breathing the freezing air at football games led her to poetry.

She graduated from the University of Iowa and shortly thereafter took off for the Peace Corps and served in the Congo and Ethiopia. As a hostage in Uganda, she had the distinction of having her photo taken by Idi Amin – a sort of keepsake for him. Szumowski received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, and at the end of her orals with Jim Tate, she commented on how much she enjoyed the program. Tate’s response: “Even more than being a hostage of Idi Amin?” accompanied by that great laugh of his.

Margaret Szumowski taught writing for many years at Springfield Technical Community College. Of all her teaching jobs, the community college was her favorite with students from age 16 to 80 and of all ethnic backgrounds. In 1998, she was recognized by the college for leadership and innovation. In 2001, she was honored with the Andrew Scibelli Chair for excellence in teaching. She studied with Marie Howe, Yusef Komunyakaa, Martha Rhodes, Mark Doty, Joshua Weiner, and Agah Shahid Ali at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, one of her favorite places.

“Margaret Szumowski dances a delicious and wild step where desires are embodied in almost everything touched and seen. In her world, the ordinary quivers in its skin ‘with the light from our rough bodies,’ and ‘tedious houses and one-way streets begin to mambo, mambo.’ Even within the darkness cast by many losses, some other light begins to burn. These poems are convincingly ecstatic. The beloved is everywhere, and each particular place, vividly evoked, perches on the rim of paradise.” – Rebecca Seiferle

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