Summary: Through contemplative lyrics, historical narratives and edgy prose poems, this collection of poetry probes the intersections of self and other, private and public, and the individual and community. The title, Where We Start , is a fitting description for the many ways these poems explore the beginnings of and in a life, including cultural identity, childhood experiences, and a new marriage.
Gingerich's poetry has been strongly influenced by her experiences as part of a Mennonite community and explores the tensions between individual identity and community loyalty. This tension has been expanded as she also creatively investigates her husband's unique and difficult upbringing in the former Yugoslavia where community loyalty turned into war.
These poems stay true to their complex questioning. With a sense of paradox and wit, a willingness to explore the poem's surprising turns and defer comfort, Gingerich builds an impressive collection of poetry that is urgent and compelling to any reader willing to explore the dark corners and sharp turns of any life's migration. See excerpt in DreamSeeker Magazine, Winter 2003.
Comment: "This is a strong collection, well-crafted, with rich layers of exploration and discovery. Gingerich's look at heritage could be just one more book of response to the Mennonite heritage, but her voice is unique as it is tempered and sharpened by the heritage and culture of her husband, as well as other characters in her life, and her take on contemporary life. Gingerich's relationship to her husband and his history is a poignant, probing stream through the collection. These are restless poems of inquiry, of keen observation, of loss and lament, and honest probing." Jean Janzen, Author, Tasting the Dust
"Gingerich knows there is no
perfect place / for anyone, and it shows in her
work. What she finds in the midst of this fallen world
is, in her words, another kind of paradise.
And through her lovely images and willful assertions, she
offers more than mere plums of information, / tasty
juice splashed onto a page.'"
"Love and what endangers it, place
and how it is violated, tradition in all its beauty and
limitationthese poems take on major themes of our
times with wit, clarity, and craft. And they do so with
the passionate intelligence of someone determined to make
of the fragments a new world in which lovers willingly
learn not just how to fly but how to carry each
Market: Anyone open to fine poetry that draws strength from deep roots in heritage and culture to comment meaningfully and movingly on contemporary life, both personal and beyond.
The Author: Debra Gingerich, Sarasota, Florida, received an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Mochila Review, MARGIE: The American Journal of Poetry, Whiskey Island Magazine, The Writer's Chronicle, and others. She works in Sarasota as a communications manager for an e-commerce business.
Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature. BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry.
© 2007 by Cascadia Publishing House