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SARA RIES DZIEKONSKI
for Marrying Maracuyá:
“I once heard poet James Seay describe an experience in his life as one of those moments you wish you could marry forever. From Buffalo to Bogotá and back, this poet has, indeed, found a way—through the art and craft of poetry--to marry these landscapes and their people forever. She has given us a true love story with the feel of a five-act play—exposition, rising action, turning point, falling action, and denouement. I love the energy, the tug and pull between toughness and tenderness, the various poetic strategies so masterfully wielded. Bravo! What a gift she has given us!”
--Cathy Smith Bowers
These poems are as tangy and unforgettable as the passionfruit, that “rock star of fruit” Ries Dziekonski loves. Generous, compassionate, and full of vitality, her poems celebrate intimacies with people and place, and are especially rooted in Colombia, where Ries Dziekonski lived for a time. Like the odes of Neruda, her voice encourages us to attend to things we often ignore: the glory of the lines in a face, of cobblestones, minnows, and even cockroaches. In each ecstatic poem, one feels the “rush of maracuyá.”
~Sheryl St. Germain
for Come In, We're Open:
Sara Ries invites us into the complex, intimate world of a small diner with such authority that I can almost hear a bell ring above the door with each new poem. She writes with a complete lack of pretense, with a straightforward, authoritative voice that reveals the truth in the small daily details and exchanges of the diner. This fine debut collection illustrates how a place and its people stay with you, become part of you, no matter how far away you may be.
Sara Ries writes with guts, grace and compassion. Whether she’s writing from the perspective of waitress, daughter, lover or friend, her poems are full-hearted celebrations of the hard-working people in her life. These poems offer comfort for the soul and a welcome respite for weary travelers: Come In, they say, We’re Open.
---Sheryl St. Germain
Ries seats us in a booth, pours us coffee, serves us bacon and eggs, and not only introduces us to the patrons, stragglers, and workers, but with tenderness, an almost preternatural insight, and sublime humor, helps us to know and love each and every one of them.
With her recipe of wit and tenderness, Ries reaches out to touch the denim sleeve of one diner’s lonely customers – the factory workers, the truckers, the insomniacs, the rest of us. Sara Ries’s poems are love songs for the forgotten or never-noticed; her voice and attentiveness are heartbreak itself.
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