Dreamers' Songs: Nancy Bevilaqua's Poems

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Another Free eBook Week

Every so often I post here to announce that I’m making the Kindle version of my poetry collection, Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter, free for a few days. Now I’m doing it again. The book will be free for five days starting tomorrow, 22 January 2016 (the print version, which is, of course, always nicer, is $8.00).

You can read more about the book and about my work and publications as a poet on the Amazon page.

Here’s the link:

Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter

 

Enjoy.

Two Poems at Kentucky Review

The journal Kentucky Review, which published my poem “Alabastron” (from my collection Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter) a while back, recently published two of my more recent poems. To read them (and some wonderful work by other poets), go here:

http://www.kentuckyreview.net/index.php/issues/kentucky-review-2015/poetry-2015/item/943-bevilaquapoetry2015home

New Goodreads Review of Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter

This wonderful and thoughtful review of my new poetry collection, Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter, is from Philip Lee, and appeared on Goodreads:

This is a collection of mystical poems which might appeal to readers with an interest in the early Christian church, to lovers of conspiracy theories, or to anyone who delights in an arcane/’different’ view of the old, old story.

Maryam, the throwaway daughter of the collection’s title, is the lover of Esa – better known as Jesus, “the mirror of the [desert] lake”. Author Nancy Bevilaqua, who has done much research into Aramaic and ancient Greek names, comes up with the intriguing idea that Jesus is part oasis, part mirage. And it is Maryam, whom we might think of as Mary Magdalene, that after the crucifixion, is scorned by a woman-hating St Peter (here called Kefa), and makes her way to Epheseus. Other transformations include her brother, Lazaros (Lazarus), not being raised from the dead by Esa, but his “death [is revealed as] a turn of mind”. Also that Maryam has a daughter

Many of these pieces are difficult reading, but what’s exciting about them – apart from their skilful use of language – is the way the narrative builds up. After reading them once through, the pleasure will be to take them up again and see what more Ms Bevilaqua’s mystic imagination has made of the Apocrypha. She has both a remarkable feel for landscape and a scholar’s knowledge of the ancient Levantine. At times the verses are cruel and bloody,

“….Over our hill
nails are ripped from someone’s broken hands, lengths
of scarlet rope and snakes around his legs.”

at times visionary,

“There are other ways to reach me:

observe light’s ecstatic tricks
upon the landscape, note how stars
remove their shoes for you, that you know
what birds’ eyes mean, that you have already
recipes for music…”

Ms Bevilqua makes it clear in her introduction that these are not intended as religious poems. Indeed, I think it would be difficult to read them as such, not just for the way they challenge tenets of the Christian story, but because of their feminist/historicist perspective. As more documents such as the Dead Sea Scrolls become available to lay readers, the “Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter” will take its place in a rounder vision of what really went on two thousand years ago.

Here’s a link to the book’s Goodreads page, where you can read additional reviews and go to Amazon if you’d like to buy it. (For the time being, Amazon has reduced the print edition even further than I had; it’s now only $4.60. The Kindle edition is $3.99, but I highly recommend the print version (if you buy the latter, you will also be able to get the ebook for free through the Kindle Matchbook deal.)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24863734-gospel-of-the-throwaway-daughter

A Short Poem from Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter

This is one of the poems from my new book that was not previously published in a literary journal. Consider it a short advertisement, if you like. 🙂

Memory

He said, I lay
in city silences too: city
of antiquated dreams.
To the blind world
they answered. Just a memory
of the kind of world you live in,
somewhere under that sky.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/150010759X

Actually, It’s Here!

For some reason, I wanted my book to be released on December 21st (the date seems significant, although I’m actually not sure why–but at any rate it’s close to Christmas, which I love), but I wasn’t sure if everything would be ready in time. As it turned out, it was. And so I’m really happy to announce that my collection Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter (additional information is available in the previous post) is now available on Amazon.com (the ebook will be available within the next couple of days). Poems from the collection have been published, or are forthcoming, from Menacing Hedge, Kentucky Review, Cafe Aphra, and Construction literary journal. I hope that some of you will take a look and, if you read the book, leave an honest review on Amazon or anywhere else. And a happy, peaceful, beautiful, miraculous holiday season to everyone!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/150010759X

Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter

My poetry collection, Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter, should be out before Christmas. For the most part, the book is about my own vision of the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene (and yes, I do believe that the relationship was intimate), and of their lives and those of the people around them at that time and place. Here are the blurbs that poets David Rawson, Kevin Davd LeMaster, Shaindel Beers, and Jordi Alonso wrote for the book after reading the manuscript:

“Nancy Bevilaqua’s poems beautifully incorporate the language of apocryphal and Gnostic texts, as well as Roman mythology, giving us pollinated lines full of an understanding of what it means to love supernaturally and to feel limited by our physicality. The characters of the New Testament are blooming, are transformed, are given true voices that are calling out past the limitations of the body. The images in these poems juxtapose the sand under our feet with stardust, uniting the sad truths of death, time, and money with elusive, honey-dripping truths that hint at a larger world.”

–David Rawson, Author of We Are Lovers Who Forgot Dinosaurs

“…Gospel of the Throwaway Daughter could well have been found tightly sealed in a jar in Qumran alongside its earlier gnostic cousins. These poems, quiet, but confident in their passion for love, desire, and holiness, echo to the Gospels and back. Taking the modernist dictum to heart to ‘make it new’, Bevilaqua, like H.D. before her, has taken stock of her poetic ancestry and focused it, channeling her myriad source texts, blending language, time, and voice, to create something lovely and new.”

–Jordi Alonso, Author of Honeyvoiced

“…takes a bold look at the New Testament and the Gnostic gospels, questioning belief, faith, dogma, and the nature of religion itself while creating a new world where ‘we will / find / what strangeness comes to bless.’ Despite the cruelty of the world both in biblical times, and now, we are reminded to ‘Pretend it doesn’t matter / how the hawk will devil fragile birds that we set free.’ Bevilaqua’s verse reassures us, ‘It’s only a matter of time / before a blessing / comes along’ in this beautiful, sensitive collection.”

–Shaindel Beers, Author of A Brief History of Time and The Children’s War and Other Poems


“…an ethereal, uplifting collection that weaves a poetic quilt of expertly crafted word choices and deep, sometimes dark imagery. It seems to blend a glimmer of hope with even the darkest poem, capturing the reader and holding him until the very end.”

–Kevin D. LeMaster, Tupelo Press 30/30 Poet

Five Poems from Gospel on Menacing Hedge

Another gorgeous journal, Menacing Hedge, published FIVE (count ’em!) poems from my forthcoming poetry chapbook entitled Gospel. Thrilled again…

http://www.menacinghedge.com/fall2014/entry-bevilaqua.php

Poem Published at Kentucky Review

One of the poems from my Gospel series (to be published as a chapbook in the fall of 2014) has been published by Kentucky Review, and I’m thrilled.  Here it is:

http://www.kentuckyreview.org/poetry/2014/nancy-bevilaqua/alabastron-from-the-series–gospel.aspx

New Facebook Page

I’ll be posting poems and links to poems (my own and others’), as well as updates on my various books, on my new Facebook page from now on. If you’d like to follow me (without–pardon me–the B.S. “I’ll follow/like your blog if you follow/like mine–even if we never actually read anything on the blogs” interactions), please go to:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-BevilaquaDreamers-Songs-Poetry-Page/315038911981818

Thank you!

Hence the Name…

I published this (anonymously, for reasons that may become clear if you use the “Look Inside” feature and read the Introduction) a while back:
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Broken-Bird-World-Dreamers-Songs/dp/1489594884/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400855327&sr=8-1&keywords=Love+in+the+broken-bird+world

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