A poem begins with a lump in your throat ~~ Robert Frost

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

About Memory & Complicity

In Eve Hoffman poet on August 27, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Eve Hoffman’s book of memories arrives at a conflicted time in American life and culture, and provides much needed insight into the paths that led us here and possibilities for going forward. Her voice provides a rare window into complicated issues of identity, community, social evil and moral possibilities. I hope that you will peer into this unsettling mirror, invited by her lyrical  gifts, and begin the process of reflection, dialogue and action to repair a broken world.   ~Robert M Franklin, PhD, President Emeritus, Morehouse College

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Eve Hoffman’s Memory & Complicity ©Mercer University Press hits bookshelves on May 1. Storyteller and poet Eve Hoffman, a sixth generation Georgian, is rooted in red clay and grew up on a dairy farm by the Chattahoochee River. Along the way she graduated from Smith College, studied in Africa, lived in San Francisco, worked at Stanford and then settled back to the land she loves to raise a family. Her lineage includes a Revolutionary War soldier, a mill owner “hung near to death” by Yankees, a suffragette leader and a grandfather who helped shape the south as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Eve has held public office, impacted education and environmental policy, founded a statewide K-12 writing competition and backed her car onto a fire hydrant after swim practice, about which her kids still tease her. She has been recognized by her alma mater, Smith College, as a “Remarkable Woman” and by Georgia Trend as one of Georgia 100 influential people. Hoffman’s previous books include Red Clay, Celebration of Healing and SHE.  www.evehoffmanpoet.com

Memory & Complicity available at Amazon.com, Mercer University Press.com, Barnes & Noble.com or memoryandcomplicity@gmail.com

COMMENTS AND BLURBS ABOUT MEMORY & COMPLICITY

Eve Hoffman is a born storyteller and sixth generation Southerner with deep roots in north Georgia’s red clay. Her poetry is a story of time and of family that called her home after sojourns in Massachusetts, Africa and California—but she, and it, had also changed. Here are stories of becoming, inseparable from those rays of self-awareness that mark the stages of personal life interwoven with historical currents. And here is a vision of a South still aborning, like herself. Her poetry brings us home to where the heart lives. In the end, her work stands as a testimonial to a love that lives both in the ordinariness and in the trials, losses, struggles of our lives—if we but look.     ~   Jamil Zainaldin, President Emeritus, Georgia Humanities Council

 

Eve Hoffman confronts our moral sensibilities. Being a white, Jewish girl (and then woman) of privilege in the South over the last half century was fraught with contradictions and challenge. Eve reveals not being taught of the 1906 Atlanta race riot, or of her great-grandmother’s involvement in the Georgia Women’s Suffrage movement. She recalls black field hands not being invited to sit at a common table, and of learning the startling truth that lynchings were not the furtive acts of rednecks but public displays of racial power where tickets were sometimes sold. She shares the experience of living on a farm where cows were shot and hung by their legs to be butchered. In her honest, unembellished way, Eve’s unsettling glimpses of her own past are a moral challenge to our to our own willful ignorances and the difficult truths of our own life history. ~ Paul Root Wolpe, Director, Emory University Center for Ethics from Forward to Memory & Complicity

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In Eve Hoffman poet on August 27, 2010 at 2:36 PM

MEMORY & COMPLICITY, Mercer University City Press,  May 1, 2018 publication

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The poems in Eve Hoffman’s Memory & Complicity are rich with the details that comprise one woman’s extraordinary life. Starting with her childhood in rural Georgia, Hoffman describes “a girl of eight or ten on a dairy farm bordered/by a winding river with an Indian name I couldn’t spell.” This awareness of her surroundings expands to include the realities of racism (this is the South in the 1950’s and 1960’s) and anti-Semitism (Eve Hoffman is Jewish), while lovingly describing a “barefoot child on summer days/picking blue cornflowers beside the ditch.” The balance between personal anecdotes and the social and political realities impacting the sweep of her life, is maintained throughout with emotional honesty that is sometimes painful, but always beautiful. ~Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina Poet Laureate

In Memory & Complicity, we feel skirts of summer dust as Eve Hoffman rides on dirt roads barefoot on a bike or clings to a runaway horse. We walk with her though an exhibit of one hundred and fifty postcards of lynchings. We see a girl in a yellow dress at the synagogue her great-grandparents founded—the synagogue bombed four hours later by white racists. We see black-faced jockeys in front yards. We listen to lullabies written in the Nazi concentration camps played on her mother’s piano—and the realization her mother was pregnant with her as they were being written. We taste sweet-potato pies and feel the wooden pews of churches turning their backs as gay men die. We watch giggling children dive from the top of the refrigerator into their father’s arms. We accompany a widow rebuilding her life, catching fireflies with her grandchildren, dancing with them in the rain.

Eve Hoffman is a born storyteller and sixth generation Southerner with deep roots in north Georgia’s red clay. Her poetry is a story of time and of family that called her home after sojourns in Massachusetts, Africa and California—but she, and it, had also changed. Here are stories of becoming, inseparable from those rays of self-awareness that mark the stages of personal life interwoven with historical currents. And here is a vision of a South still aborning, like herself. Her poetry brings us home to where the heart lives. In the end, her work stands as a testimonial to a love that lives both in the ordinariness and in the trials, losses, struggles of our lives—if we but look.     ~ Jamil Zainaldin, President, Georgia Humanities Council

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To arrange readings, contact: Mercer University Press kosowski_mb@mercer.edu   or memoryandcomplicity@gmail.com

 

Books available at Amazon.com,  Mercer University Press. com, Barnes and Noble. com or memoryandcomoplicity@gmail.com