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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FINAL DAYS AND HOURS OF NOTABLE WRITERS PRECEDING THEIR SUICIDES IMAGINED IN “THE RIBBON AROUND THE BOMB” POETRY COLLECTION
February 7, 2019 — The Ribbon Around the Bomb, a new collection of poems by Elizabeth Levine, imagines the final thoughts, feelings and experiences of notable literary artists prior to their imminent deaths—almost all by suicide.
“I became interested in the subject of writers who committed suicide, particularly poets whose work I had studied and admired,” according to Ms. Levine. “I tried to imagine Frank O’Hara’s last sunset in Fire Island. What Virginia Woolf might have thought as she chose the stones she deliberately placed in her pocket. Why is it that Sylvia Plath chose to kill herself on February 3, 1963? Why did Paul Celan commit suicide after being liberated from the camps? I searched the work of Frank O’Hara, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Paul Celan, Frida Kahlo, Hart Crane, Sara Teasdale, Marina Tsvetayeva, Randall Jarrell, John Berryman, Anne Sexton and Welden Kees for clues, for words or images that repeatedly occurred. I searched for meaning in their deaths following the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.”
“With an unflinching imagination, Levine inhabits and gives voice to some of the best minds of past generations,” says John Parras, author of Dangerous Limbs and editor of Maps Literary. “These intimate yet dramatic monologues, steeped in human tribulation, resonate with insight and compassion.”
In her debut book of poems The Ribbon Around the Bomb, Elizabeth Levine proves herself a poet of exceptional grace with a natural gift of both lyricism and psychological insight,” writes award-winning poet Laura Boss, author of The Best Lover and editor of Lips. “Her poems that explore the suicides of some of our most beloved poets (including Sylvia Plath, Hart Crane, Randall Jarrell) are highlights of this book as she skillfully weaves fact and imagination to arrive at a greater emotional truth. The title poem alone is worth the price of this compelling book.”
“Turning a blaring light on sex, motherhood, regret, loss, Levine takes off,” is how Professor Martha Witt, author of As Broken As Things Are, describes her lasting impressions of The Ribbon Around the Bomb. “Where one language fails, another intervenes, until poem after poem she is beating all her wings.”
Elizabeth Levine is a trilingual author and poet and teaches Creative Writing as Adjunct Faculty in the English Department at William Paterson University. Her bilingual poem “Where We Walked” and “After the Drive By” have been published in the Montclair Write Group Sampler. Her second poetry chapbook, God Doesn’t Live at Our House Anymore is a collection of poems that directly relates to her identity as a mother before and after her daughter’s death. Her third chapbook Ranting deals with social justice issues including immigration, higher education, and criminal justice. Her fourth chapbook Savage is a collection of poems about addiction and mental illness.
Her novel, What Remains, written under the pseudonym Charlotte Clear, is currently being adapted as a play under the title “And She Was There.” Levine’s novel deals with themes of trauma and resiliency. One of the chapters, “Powerless”, which takes place in Bolivia and is written in English and Spanish, was chosen and produced as a Selected Short by the New Jersey Playwrights in the first New Jersey Selected Shorts in 2015. A second chapter, “What Is Lost” was selected for the Creative Writing Panel of the North Eastern Modern Language Association’s International Conference in Toronto, Canada.
Order The Ribbon Around the Bomb from Finishing Line Press: It is available for purchase now and orders will be shipped in February 2019. Pre-order and reserve your copy today at: https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/the-ribbon-around-the-bomb-by-elizabeth-levine/.
For media kit, and information about upcoming readings and publications visit: https://theribbonaroundthebomb.wordpress.com