New Release: Sparks and Disperses
Cornerstone Press, November 2021
Writing with indirection, delicacy and deep affection, Cathleen Cohen is an artist who trusts the free hand and the unplanned, the poem's gradual reveal toward what it harbors. In the felt presence of the unspoken, these sensitive, compassionate and soft-spoken poems, their subtle shades glowing many-hued, are suffused with light like the watercolors that are her other medium of finding the world again, the beauty of what's fleeting, the iridescence of things, the energies of what "sparks and disperses."
—Eleanor Wilner, author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2017
These poems gather up the sensuous fruit, the curiosity and grace of the poet’s living.
—Yolanda Wisher, author of Monk Eats an Afro
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Poet Laureate, 2016-2017
The poems in Cathleen Cohen’s Sparks and Disperses reckon with contemporary life through the perspective of visual artists. Drawing on an ancient Kabbalistic myth of the “shattering of vessels,” Cohen explores issues of fracture, healing, and creation; the challenges of poverty, isolation, and the pandemic; and how we can find meaning and joy through artmaking. By building a poetic mural made of cracked ceramics, household items, and glass shards, Cohen promotes healing through continuity and hope.
Cathleen Cohen was the 2019 Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. A painter and teacher, she founded the We the Poets program at ArtWell, an arts education nonprofit in Philadelphia (theartwell.org). Camera Obscura (chapbook, Moonstone Press), appeared in 2017, and Etching the Ghost (Atmosphere Press), was published in 2021.
Sparks and Disperses touches reality and by this actual touching, reveals life in its exquisite brilliance and raw distress. Lines in these poems are delicate and robust; the superb brushwork of a poet whose heart & hand paint what John Keats would recognize as the joining of beauty with the truth of the imagination. Cathleen Cohen’s life and poetry is a passionate expression of dedication to everything we need to live whole and meaningful lives.
—John Fox, The Institute for Poetic Medicine
Available at Cornerstone Press | Buy Now