Join us as we celebrate the release of Mariflo Stephens’s poetry collection, Dream Straw. A signing will follow. This event will be free and open to the public.
“Early on in this haunted and haunting collection, the poet asks (in a poem of skillful and somber rhetoric directed toward—putting its finger on—an urgent existential question): “What good is this?/ Of what use, this gift?” The answer is here in these poems dense with the texture of relations (of family and friends, living and dead). Again and again, these poems of expressive anguish show us, as poems must, how to live deeply, and why.” —Gregory Orr, author of River Inside the River and The Last Love Poem I’ll Ever Write
“Death is both accomplice and adversary in Mariflo Stephens’s brilliantly succinct Dream Straw. The grim wit of its poems comforts us even as it generates a lasting disturbance. This little book makes us stronger.” —David Huddle, author of Blacksnake at the Family Reunion and Dream Sender
“Dream Straw wrestles with hard questions of family, death and identity, and asks how much can love save us from ourselves or others, and how much grief is enough to bear? One of the most vivid poems is set in the pastoral landscape of the poet’s childhood in the hills of Southwest Virginia. The speaker, wearing her father’s coat into a field, is consequently trapped in a tree by hungry cows. These poems, in which no word is misplaced, carry mythic and fairytale-like resonance, presenting ruptures into the depths of feminine psyche.” —Cathryn Hankla, author of Lost Places, Galaxies, and Great Bear
About the author: Mariflo Stephens has read or discussed her work on Oprah and the Oxygen network. Her literary work has been anthologized three times, and in 1993 she issued her own anthology, Some Say Tomato. Her fiction is included in Worlds in their Words: Contemporary American Women Writers, and her essays appear in The Barbie Chronicles: A Real Doll Turns Forty and Strategies for Successful Writing. Awarded two grants for fiction from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, she won the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest in 2008 and was the second place winner in 2012. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Iowa Woman, VQR, The Walden Review, Catalyst: A Magazine for Social Change, and Zone 3, among other publications. Stephens received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia, where she won the Thomas Griffiths Prize for the short story.