Stella Beratlis

 March 23, 2022.

Modesto poet Stella Beratlis returns to the program to talk about her new collection, Dust Bowl Venus: Poems, just out from Sixteen Rivers Press.

"Sometimes the ground shifts under our feet and leaves us stumbling; our world changed. DUST BOWL VENUS documents that stumbling; that changed world; and also the regaining of a footing that; if not what we had hoped for; is what we live with. In her second powerful collection of poetry; framed by the lyrics of Modesto-based country-bluegrass songwriter; Hazel Houser; Stella Beratlis explores the landscapes of California's Great Central Valley; the landscapes of fear and hope in the cancer diagnosis of her daughter; and the landscape of regret--what we have let go and what we have gained from letting go. Beratlis pays her characteristic attention to detail; invoking; for example; Louis Armstrong's blue kitchen and the hinges squeaking on an ice chest lid; in order to create her complex; lyrical images. She writes that "ghosts / have always been walking / through the spaces of our home;" and she has listened to these ghosts. This book is filled with imagery and emotion that builds and curves and accumulates; leaving the reader breathless; glad for the shifting of the earth that gave us these poems."


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