In Seeking Center, Joan Gelfand joins the reader in a free-wheeling discussion, beyond the poems themselves, regarding what is poetry today, here at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In forms that span from the short, highly-constrained haiku to the almost limitless prose poem, she seems to define poems as she produces them.
Joan gives an overview of the book:
These poems reach widely into media other than the printed word, thus knitting a web of connections between arts and artists. “Museum Pieces,” the first of four sections, deals almost exclusively with reactions to visual art. At her best, Gelfand expresses the ability of a work of art to shock our prosaic universe. In the opening poem she begins:
Across the dirty street from “Heavenly Body:
Quality Collision Repair and Refinishing,”
A feather-light whale
By grounding the reader in the dirty streets, Gelfand juxtaposes ‘’art” that ethereal, non-linear, always moving target. She uses a similar technique in “Monet,” but instead of using third person she employs a strong authorial presence:
How many times have I seen you
And not seen you?
Today, your subtle colors whisper —
Not the gardens, not the water lilies —
Joan’s work has been published in national and international publications, including Kalliope, Levure Litteraire, The Toronto Quarterly, and The Chaffin Journal. Readings include Bowery Poetry Club, Southern Festival of Books, Litquake, The Oakland Muse-um and the NY Public...