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Listening to Africa Paperback – March 18, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Antrim House; First edition (March 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936482185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936482184
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,430,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Diana M. Raab makes a pilgrimage from the "familiar neon of home" in America to Africa, bringing her family, her passion and her pen. Her moving words carry us with her in narrative poems replete with vision, humor and irony. In her inner and outer journey, the poet transforms fear and sadness into beauty and love as her heart opens "in this place which will remind you of your reason for living." --Susan Wooldridge, author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words

Diana M. Raab takes us on a joyous poetic journey of words and photos. She juxtaposes her wisdom, essential wellness and depth of feeling in exploring four-legged friends, illness, and hope, making this an extremely powerful collection. --Cara Nusinov, author of Unrequited Love and Other French Kisses

Diana M. Raab takes us on a joyous poetic journey of words and photos. She juxtaposes her wisdom, essential wellness and depth of feeling in exploring four-legged friends, illness, and hope, making this an extremely powerful collection. --Cara Nusinov, author of Unrequited Love and Other French Kisses

About the Author

Diana M. Raab is an award-winning poet, memoirist and registered nurse who teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and at various conferences around the country. She is the author of three poetry collections, My Muse Undresses Me (2007); Dear Anaïs: My Life in Poems for You (2008), winner of The Reader Views Award and an Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award; and The Guilt Gene (2009).Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Rattle, Rosebud, Litchfield Review, Tonopah Review, Writers Journal, Common Ground Review, The Smoking Poet, A Café in Space, the Toronto Quarterly, Snail Mail Review, New Mirage Journal, Lucidity, Blood and Thunder, Jet Fuel Review, and Ascent. She s editor of Writers and Their Notebooks, winner of a 2011 Eric Hoffer Award and finalist for Best Books (USA Book News), and also co-edited (with James Brown) Writers on the Edge.Diana Raab's memoir, Regina s Closet: Finding My Grandmother's Secret Journal, won the 2008 National Indie Excellence Award for Memoir and the 2009 Mom's Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction. Her self-help memoir, Healing With Words: A Writer s Cancer Journey, won the 2011 Mom's Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction.

More About the Author

Diana Raab, Ph.D. is an award-winning poet, memoirist, essayist and transpersonal psychologist. She is the author of nine books and over 300 articles and poems, and editor of two anthologies, WRITERS ON THE EDGE: WRITERS SPEAK ABOUT ADDICTION AND DEPENDENCY and WRITERS AND THEIR NOTEBOOKS. Raab's two memoirs are REGINA'S CLOSET: FINDING MY GRANDMOTHER'S SECRET JOURNAL and HEALING WITH WORDS: A WRITER'S CANCER JOURNEY. Her fourth and most recent poetry collection is called LUST.

Raab has been writing since childhood, when her mother gave her a journal to help her cope with her grandmother and caretaker's suicide. Since then, she has been using writing as a way of healing and teaching others to do the same. She believes writing is transformative and did her doctoral research on memoir for transformation and empowerment. She lectures and gives workshops around the country, and is an advocate of keeping a notebook. Her focus is non-fiction (especially memoir writing) and poetry.

She is the mother of 3 adult children and lives with her husband in Southern California.

She's a regular blogger for Psychology Today Huff50 (The Huffington Post), and BrainSpeak.

Her website is www.dianaraab.com


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Her poetry dances and flows with witty rhythms and lyrical pictures.
Aubrie A. Dionne
Poet Diana Raab traveled to Africa with her family and returned with both a poem story about their journey and her inner journey as one who is living with cancer.
Story Circle Book Reviews
Reading anything poetry is out of my comfort level, but I really enjoyed Listening to Africa.
Kristina

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Diana M. Raab is a nurse, a poet, a writer, and a healer - if healing is a even a weak descriptor for wellness of body and mind and spirit. Rabb has found these delicate but timeless threads of connection and shares them with us in this collection of poems LISTENING TO AFRICA. A poet of the pioneering sort she stepped out of the comfort of her home and accompanied her family to the nest of secrets that bud in Africa. The result is a collection of photographs, some simply reproduced and others manipulated in a manner that seems to show the kindred lines between man and the animals about whom she writes with such caring and respect.

Raab's oems are simple in format which is to say that her messages are quickly grasped without wading through challenges in style. And that is in keeping with her subject matter - life at its most sublimely basic state. These are meditation and celebrations of a place new tot he poet and new to many of us. Some examples follow:

THE GENTLEST ANIMAL

has toes even, unlike mine - my second,
larger than the first, which they say

points to creativity - but
the giraffe is much more creative

it seems because of where he reaches
for his sustenance.

Here in Africa I fell in love
with the giraffe and on our

last day, market day,
snatched a wooden purple-spotted one,

standing tall, staring into my green eyes,
to become my single souvenir and carry-on.

Is it their gentleness
or the reminder of my own neck's woes
which draws me to them?
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Listening to Africa by Diana M. Raab is an incredibly moving book of poetry about many things: Africa, illness, comparisons, poverty, animals, light, and introspection.

The poems appear to have been written during the course of a safari that goes through Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. During her travels with her family, Ms. Raab writes about the continent of Africa, the comparisons between Africa and what she's known prior to traveling there, and "I ponder my pull to Africa." There she sees "people happy with so little".

She reflects on her own illness, metastasized breast cancer.

I step onto African soil
with dreams of leaving
my own cells buried there

merging with a history
of African fights for survival
even as I know there's no way

except through magical dreams,
to leave behind what haunts me:
the healthy bones dad once bestowed.

As a breast cancer survivor myself, I found her poetry very poignant, painful and beautiful. It touches all the raw spots and provides a new way of looking at what can't be seen.

eyes glued to the aperture
of this modern lens
to grasp dreams of a future
I most certainly will never live to see.

Ms. Raab has a rare sensibility towards the African people and seems to understand them and their paths. She appreciates the ecology, the animals and can take them all seriously or laugh heartily at their antics.

As her year ends in Africa,

I ponder

my yearly accomplishments
ups and downs, ins and outs
and hopes for the New Year.
Africa casts a somber perspective

on our sheltered American life.

"Ms.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristina on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I don't think I have ever read a book that packed so much emotion into so few pages. This poetry collection, written by Diana M. Raab isn't just about her trip to Africa with her family. The poems are about her healing and what her life and family means to her.

Raab writes about love, family, and healing. The core of her poetry is about her children and her father, but Listening to Africa is about so much more as well.

Seeing the struggles that many people in the world suffer with, she writes how grateful she is to have what she does. She describes how we (meaning Americans) take so much for granted. In one verse she describes how her family is trying to figure out how much they can fit into one suitcase, while others don't even own enough to fill up one suitcase. Listening to Africa really makes you think about what you have.

Within the pages, Raab also included family photos from the trip which I thought added a nice personal touch.

Reading anything poetry is out of my comfort level, but I really enjoyed Listening to Africa. Through her words, I was able to see how much the trip to Africa touched Raab in a way I don't think anything else would have been able too.

Beautifully written and a quick read, I would definitely say that Listening to Africa is worth giving a chance too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Naida M. VINE VOICE on June 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this quietly fierce collection of poetry, Diana M. Raab shares memories of her trip to Africa.

"Visiting This New Continent
If I squeeze my eyes closed

and blink them open again,
would it feel like

a moon landing
by a battered spaceship?"

Diana writes about the sights and sounds of Africa, the beauty and the sadness of it. I enjoyed all the poems, especially The Gentlest Animal, a giraffe.
"the giraffe is much more creative

it seems because of where he reaches for his sustenance."

Love of family is at the core of her poetry as she shares thoughts about her children and her father. Diana brings the sights and sounds of Africa alive and I could easily envision the safari, the hippos, the market and the hot air balloon ride. She bravely takes us into her world and shares with us her cancer diagnosis and the loss of her father.

Poetry books are always difficult to review, because poems touch each person in different ways. As for myself, I enjoyed this collection very much. Diana has included photos of her trip, which added even more of a personal touch.
One thing I wasn't expecting was to read about New Years in Africa, in the poem No Gala. I enjoyed how she points out the differences of this African New Years verses the way it is celebrated back in NYC.

I found these poems to be intimate and thought provoking. The verse flowed smoothly and I was easily lost in her words.
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