This spring marks the bicentennial of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. In her ambitious and timely debut, The Jane and Bertha in Me, Rita Maria Martinez celebrates Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre. Through wildly inventive, beautifully crafted persona poems, Martinez re-imagines Jane Eyre’s cast of characters in contemporary contexts, from Jane as an Avon saleslady to Bertha as a Stepford wife. These lively, fun, poignant poems prove that Jane Eyre’s fictional universe is just as relevant today as it was so many years ago. The Jane and Bertha in Me is a must-read for any lover of Brontë’s work.
Here’s what others are saying:
The Jane and Bertha in Me is a Rubik’s Cube(TM) of Janes. Each poem is a smartly annotated, hauntingly revisionist homage to Jane Eyre. Martinez’s astounding poems are literary, conversational, personal, fun, as she confidently transports her Janes from the Moors to Macy’s, from Thornfield Hall to the world of tattoos. —Denise Duhamel, author of Blowout
Rita Maria Martinez’s The Jane and Bertha in Me gives an unusual twist to the well-known characters from Jane Eyre, envisioning Jane at the guidance counselor, Bertha getting a makeover. These persona poems give us greater insight into the minds of madwoman and governess alike and even minor characters like Blanche and Alice, with beautiful, lush language and empathetic vision. Even casual fans of Brontë’s great book will enjoy this lively re-imagining. —Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of The Robot Scientist’s Daughter
About the Poet:
Rita Maria Martinez is a Cuban-American poet from Miami, Florida. Her writing has been published in journals including the Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, MiPOesias, and 2River View. She authored the chapbook Jane-in-the-Box, published by March Street Press in 2008. Her poetry also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama, published by Prentice Hall; and in the anthology Burnt Sugar, Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish, published by Simon & Schuster. Martinez has been a featured author at the Miami Book Fair International; at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida; and at the Palabra Pura reading series sponsored by the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Florida International University.
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April 4: Musings of a Bookish Kitty (interview)
April 12: Everything Distils Into Reading (review)
April 15: Book Dilettante (review)
April 16: Suko’s Notebook (review)
April 18: True Book Addict (review)
April 22: Jorie Loves a Story (review)
April 23: Emma Eden Ramos (review)
April 25: Diary of an Eccentric (review)
April 27: Unabridged Chick (review)
April 27: Pretty Purple Polka Dots (review)
April 28: Impressions in Ink (review)
April 30: Create With Joy (review)
Thanks to everyone who inspired me to take on my own business. I appreciate everyone’s advice and support.
And thanks to everyone’s support, I’m announcing the first online marketing tour by Poetic Book Tours. If you are interested, please fill out the Google Form at the bottom of the post.
Doll God by Luanne Castle is due out Jan. 15, 2015, from Aldrich Press, an imprint of Kelsay Books.
Here’s a bit about the collection:
Luanne Castle’s debut poetry collection, Doll God, studies traces of the spirit world in human-made and natural objects–a Japanese doll, a Palo Verde tree, a hummingbird. Her exploration leads the reader between the twin poles of nature and creations of the imagination in dolls, myth, and art.
From the first poem, which reveals the child’s wish to be godlike, to the final poem, an elegy for female childhood, this collection echoes with the voices of the many in the one: a walking doll, a murderer, Snow White. Marriage, divorce, motherhood, and family losses set many of the poems in motion. The reader is transported from the lakes of Michigan to the Pacific Ocean to the Sonoran Desert.
These gripping poems take the reader on a journey through what is found, lost, or destroyed. The speaker in one poem insists, “I am still looking for angels.” She has failed to find them yet keeps searching on. She knows that what is lost can be found.
What are others saying about Doll God:
“Every day the world subtracts from itself,” Luanne Castle observes. Her wonderfully titled collection, Doll God, with its rich and varied mix of poems part memoir, part myth and tale, shimmers as it swims as poetry is meant to, upstream against the loss. -Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author of Streets in Their Own Ink
In her haunting first collection, Luanne Castle has created a space where “the sounds/of the schoolchildren/and the traffic/grind down/to nothing” and where the reader is invited to experience the lasting echo of our primal human past. Who makes our toys, and why? Which toys and in whose likeness? With startling imagery and a keen eye for the subtler shapes of violence and redemption, Castle asks us to consider and re-consider these questions. Like a “world of broken mirrors waiting” the poems call us back to ourselves, our childhoods, and the potential rewards of prayer and reflection. I find both hope and despair in these pages, where “every day the world subtracts from itself and nothing/is immune,” and every object contains a voice and a story. This is a fierce and beautiful book. -Caroline Goodwin, author of Trapline
Luanne Castle’s new collection, Doll God, is sublime. The manner of these poems– that they embrace the doll and bring to it humanity and divinity–is something to behold. The voice in these poems is tender, visceral, and wonderfully human. Ms. Castle has forged a vision that feels like something you want to dance with, dress up, talk to like a child, but with an adult’s sensibility. I love these poems with my whole heart because they make me feel both childlike and grown, simultaneously. Doll mistresses, primordial conches, Barbies, infuse these poems with tremendous humanity, and they delight with purpose, sadness and joy, and an incredible range that will leave you breathless. -Matthew Lippman, author of American Chew
Luanne Castle has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside; Western Michigan University; and Stanford University. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in Barnstorm Journal, Grist, The Antigonish Review, Ducts, TAB, River Teeth, Lunch Ticket, Wisconsin Review, The MacGuffin, and other journals. She contributed to Twice-Told Children’s Tales: The Influence of Childhood Reading on Writers for Adults, edited by Betty Greenway. Luanne divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina.
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Feb. 9: Patricia’s Wisdom (review)
Feb. 10: Everything Distils Into Reading (review)
Feb. 13: Bell, Book & Candle (review)
Feb. 14: Book Dilettante (review)
Feb. 19: Peeking Between the Pages (Author Guest Post)
Feb. 20: Peeking Between the Pages (review)
Feb. 22: Regular Rumination (review)
Feb. 23: A Garden Carried in the Pocket (review)
Feb. 24: Bookgirl’s Nightstand (review)
March 1: Tea Leaves (review)
March 4: Diary of an Eccentric (review)
March 6: Savvy Verse & Wit (review)