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Poet Loiterer Paperback – January 16, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
"Lang's themes include wanderlust, love for nature (and especially hiking in the California hills), religious devotion, paying the bills versus living the artist's life, and transforming from a passive pacifist to an activist. "You gave me lungs, / so that I might breathe peace" expresses forthright praise to God in "What You Created," and elsewhere, verse expresses delight in Jewish practice: "There's music and Torah both running through my soul," she observes--a quirky combination that brings to mind a Jewish Janis Joplin. In the satirical "Doves in Season," the traditional peace symbol is being hunted. "Fear not the rocking boat," another poem advises, encouraging readers to question racism, capitalism, and America's reliance on weapons. There's "More than one way to be an American," the poem "Headline Antidote" insists; indeed, this collection imagines a peaceful, joyful future America." -- Kirkus Reviews
From the Author
This book is a pastry, fluffy with a chocolate center. This entire book was written in 2015 in various locations around the Bay Area, which is a first, as my previous books had also contained many old poems that I'd written as a kid. This is all me at age 31/32 with poems created from April - November 2015.
It starts out with "To Get Free" which won Best of Show at the Solano County Fair in 2015. The next two poems came to me as songs in the middle of the night: "Songs in the Key of Grief" and "Mare Island." Followed by nature poems from my days spent in the many fine parks of the Bay Area. Next are a lot of poems inspired by my experiences at synagogue, both musical and spiritual. Then, what I think is the chocolate center of this book: protest poems. There are some silly word play and story poems as well, and a few autobiographical personal historical mythology poems.
Two of the poems are black-out poetry, random holy coincidences. At a retreat, I grabbed a random sheet from the Red Tent, the book of Dinah (coincidentally, my Hebrew name)which I've not yet read, but a poem revealed itself that described my evolution to poet-performer, which happened at my synagogue's inaugural Beit Café. "Unplugged" is that poem.
I almost called this book Poet Dictator, as my new method is to ramble poems into the notes app verbally, and then compile them later, but I'm neither control freak nor potato. Well, I might be a potato...
Special thanks to Dan, who inspired a great deal of the musical poems in this book and by virtue of the songs he sings, inspired me to be braver with my words.
Thank you, Norm, for the donation of the cover photo, and to my wonderful shul for letting me loiter against their wall for the photograph.
* "To Get Free", Best of Show rosette and First Place in Unpublished Poetry, 2015
* "Headline Antidote", 5th place in Any Other Poetry, 2016
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