- Paperback: 110 pages
- Publisher: Aldrich Press (April 21, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615996337
- ISBN-13: 978-0615996332
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,012,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Listening to Night Whistles Paperback – April 21, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Tina Hacker was a sophomore at the University of Illinois when a woman in her dormitory slipped an unfriendly note under her door. Shocked, she shed a few tears and wrote her first poem. Then, with encouragement from teachers and friends, she spent every spare minute writing poems. Within a year her work was accepted by journals from the Universities of Wisconsin and Illinois.
Today, Tina lives in Leawood, KS, with her husband Lynn Norton and is an active member of the area’s literary community. She served on the Board of Directors and as Co-president of The Writers Place in Kansas City, MO. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project and has been poetry editor of Veterans’ Voices since 1976. She enjoys giving readings and teaches adults and high school students how to give powerful poetry programs.
A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Tina was a finalist in New Letters and George F. Wedge contests. She was the Editor’s Choice in two journals and has been published in numerous journals and anthologies such as Missouri Poets, Show + Tell, The Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers, Kansas City Voices, Coal City Review, Touch: The Journal of Healing, Flint Hills Review and The Orange Room Review.
Her chapbook, Cutting It, published by The Lives You Touch Publications, is on Amazon.
Top customer reviews
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I would hope that Tina also will offer this book in audio, as she does an excellent reading of her poetry.
You will be introduced to Hacker’s Jewish culture, from her childhood lived in the post-war shadow of the Holocaust to comic poems about Golem. (Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of a Golem. She will make you want one.) Yet while Hacker opens her door and beckons us in, she also steps out to join us in a global feast of joy and sorrow. Hacker proves that even small moments (ironing, hot flashes) and inanimate objects (“Death of a Gucci Handbag”) are ripe for poetry. To do what she does, all it takes is fierce observation, wild imagination, hard work, and a genius with words.
In many of the poems, Hacker takes us through her life from childhood to hot flashes, through life’s experiences whether personal or observed. Readers meet interesting characters, pass through life and death, visit the Biltmore, and “fold” with her into a “napkin crumpled in her hand” after a bad dinner date. One section of the book offers a few of her Golem poems. Hacker’s Golem, a part of Jewish folklore, is often a mischievous adventure-seeking dirt creature. His adventures usually end in disaster before he disappears back into the earth by the close of the poem. The poems are clever and funny and capture some good perspective on pop culture and human nature.
The final section of the book offers seven poems about her Jewish heritage, and Hacker delivers her most powerful poems in the collection. In addition to the wonderful imagery she always offers, these poems are about bigger issues and elicit stronger reactions in the reader. From the “loud keening of a train” in the first poem to the final compelling moment in the last poem when her cousin Helen changes her name to Julie, and Hacker wonders, “Is she in hiding so when the Nazis/come, her neighbors will say,/’No one by that name lives here,’” Hacker really captures some hard times. In “Restricted Caroling,” a choir of thirty Jewish high schoolers pause from what they usually practice to sing carols in cancer wards, Alzheimer’s units, and unfortunate neighborhoods, particularly neighborhoods where Jews aren’t allowed, but they sing for their cocoa and cookies, smile and hide who they really are so they can blend in. As first generation Americans, they don’t have the memories of their parents and grandparents, but they know the stories passed down through the family, and they will always be Jews. Hacker crafts them all without being didactic or sentimental, thus they are all the more powerful.
This is a fine collection of poems from Tina Hacker, and all lovers of poetry will want to add Listening to Night Whistles to their collection.