Reviewing on the Englewood Review of Books, Caitlin Mackenzie says that "The Apple Speaks is a densely woven fabric of faith, longing, and embrace. But I urge you to read and hear for yourself."
Service work and community have been central to Anabaptist
identity for centuries, and Becca J. R. Lachman’s first collection of
poetry reflects on the rewards and "underbellies" of them both. Her
lyric-driven poems braid together a rural upbringing, Ohio Swiss
Mennonite history, and her loved ones’ humanitarian service in war-torn
nations. Stanzas filled with music and the natural world join with taut
issues of race and gender.
"These poems are what hymns or sermons ought to be: full of the light
of radiant faces. The quality of held breath, and the clean, enveloping
silence of a first snow are ever-present here. We can be grateful that
a poet whose ‘long seasons of listening’ have specially fitted her to
sing with such mindfulness is thinking this deeply about what harmony
is. There’s a freshness to Lachman’s reverence, a respect and an
ethics, a tuneful humility that’s never received or rote but always
newly wrought. This is just as I imagine God, if she exists, would want
any written offering. If, as Lachman writes, "music is God breathing,"
then these poems come to us on waves of holy exhalation." —Amy Gerstler
reflects on a heritage that inspires but also restrains. From within
that struggle, in language of striking clarity and subtlety, Lachman
witnesses a world generous with both pain and redemption, music and
despair. These are poems born of a rigorous heart and a questioning
mind." —Mark Wunderlich,
Author, Voluntary Servitude
her art and authenticity, Lachman engages even the most reluctant
readers as they enter new worlds under her astute guidance. From
service with Swiss Mennonites to an observant private lyricism, Lachman
offers rare insights. She can make an apple speak and she can inspire
us to listen." —Susan
Kinsolving, Poet, The White Eyelash; Dailies &
Rushes; Among Flowers
Market: Lachman’s poems should appeal to anyone who appreciates fine poetry and especially readers drawn to poetic engagement with issues of community, negotiating daily life, family, humanitarianism, race and gender, Mennonite life, and more.
Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature; Personal experience; BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry.
The Author: Becca J. R. Lachman teaches writing at Ohio University, from which she received her M.A. in English. She holds B.A.s in music composition and creative writing from Otterbein University and an M.F.A. from the Bennington College Writing Seminars. Her 2004 chapbook "Songs from the Springhouse" won the national Florence Kahn Memorial Award. A singer-songwriter and past fellow with the Johnny Mercer Foundation and Melodious Accord, Becca's choral music is available through The Lorenz Corporation's Heritage Press. Her first book of poetry brings to the surface questions and emotions rarely discussed regarding international missionary work, new marriage, and straddling two worlds as a young feminist Mennonite writer.
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