by Anara Guard

Book Cover: Hand on My Heart

Thirty-five poignant and powerful poems, in which the poet performs word ballet, pirouetting her way through regrets, childbirth and parenting, floods and heat waves, and love, both certain and uncertain. Deeply personal and sensual, Hand on My Heart sympathetically plumbs the depths of memory and imagination. Here you will find poems inspired by the Wizard of Oz, fallen giraffes, and Mason jars; laments and praise; what may be love, and what is most certainly love. The poem ">45" won a Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize.

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Excerpt:

None for Me

 

After the crash, you must have scattered

Over yards, acres, into the next county or

Even somehow across state lines

Because there is your ponytail

Tumbling down the back of a stranger,

Your eyebrow cocks on an unfamiliar face,

And the shape of your shoulders is silhouetted

In that lit window I pass by at night.

How did all those people end up with a piece of you

And me, left with none?

Reviews:Jan Haag wrote:

Hand on My Heart dives into one’s “own mysterious depths/the volcanic source revealed,” as Anara Guard writes in the poem, “Self-Examination.” With great range, Guard explores in lovely language the “Weekly Communion” of trash day, of owls, of the gift of a Mason jar that gets reused again and again. Dip in and savor these poems, one at a time, then return for more sips of poetic nectar.


About the Author

Anara studied writing at the Urban Gateways Young Writers Workshop of Chicago with Kathleen Agena, the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts with Norman Corwin, Columbia College Story Workshop, St. Joseph’s College with Stu Dybek, Bread Loaf Writers Conference with Robert Cohen and Alix Ohlin, and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. She graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston. In 2010, Back Pages Publishing issued her first collection of short stories, The Sound of One Body. Remedies for Hunger (2014) is her second story collection and was named one of the Best Books of 2015 by the Chicago Book Review.

She is also a poet and memoirist. Her poems have improbably won both a John Crowe Ransom Poetry Prize and a Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. Her work has recently appeared in The Ear, Gold Man Review, Convergences, and Under the Gum Tree.  She and her sister, Gay Guard-Chamberlin, perform their poetry together as "Sibling Revelry".

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