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

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

  

 

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