Donna Snyder Reading at Western New Mexico U – March 18, 2015

Donna Snyder NM Reading

Virgogray Press poet, Donna Snyder, will be reading at the J. Cloyd Miller Library at Western New Mexico University on Wednesday March 18, 2015 as part of the continuing series, “Reflections of an Artist,” presented by the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning.

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I Am South by Donna Snyder Reissued

Donna Snyder: I am SouthIn Donna Snyder’s debut collection of poetry, I Am South, readers are exposed to the vivid psyche of a poet unafraid to release the passions, fears and reasoning of inner toil and resolve. Snyder’s poetry is like a painting that tells mystified stories and is very revealing in all their discretion. The language of the poet is elaborate and intense evoking images such as darkness: “it is a black night and I dive over and over / from the prow of a black boat/ into the blackest water” (“To Continue is Imperative,” 27), mythology: “He turns his feathered back on the siren’s song / a choice will lead him back to the horned man’s woodland” (“Dreaming in Cards,” 23), and sex: “the sound of movies and silk hosing swishing / the young thighs crossed and uncrossed in the darkness / If only I had never said yes to fervent kisses beneath my ear” (“Blame it on Neruda,” 15). For all the poetic language, Donna is exceedingly forward in some of her work, as in “Like a Cloak of Many Colors,”

I can’t write in subtleties by nature
I articulate experience in blatant terms
name the emotion
… I can’t write in ambiguities
my job is to name a thing and make its existence
compel response
… you know what I mean when I say it” (38)

and the title poem, “I am South,”

Gravity pulled me from north to south
to find some truer self
South is where I learned to swallow Pablo Neruda
like rum
South is where time stretches out like a bus trip
in exotic lands
And south is where I can both swear and sweat
in Spanish
There is antiquity here everywhere
and I have become part of it.” (37)

Through the images and poetic devices, Donna Snyder presents a collection both kaleidoscopic and in-your-face, and gives nods to such writers as Octavio Paz, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Pablo Neruda. First published as a chapbook in 2010, I Am South is now re-issued as perfect bound edition and brings readers poetry that has proven to age gracefully over the course of four years.

I Am South by Donna Snyder is available through Amazon and other fine retailers.

I am South by Donna Snyder; Review by Lawrence Barrett

Lawrence Barrett Review of I Am South by Donna Snyder, Virgoray Press, 2010; Available at www. virgoraypress.blogspot.com.

Donna Snyder, an accomplished, well-known and published El Paso poet and writer has delivered her first book, or rather chapbook, with a style that can be characterized as uniquely her own. Not one to obfuscate meanings, Snyder writes with searing clarity and in-your-face commentary that is refreshing because, thank God, one does not have to sit and agelessly ponder a puzzle-work of abstractions.

I can’t write subtleties by nature
I articulate experience in blatant terms
I name the emotion

Snyder also employs hugely scenic, dramatic and emotive imagery which sort of shimmers and moves her work along, at times, embryonic and dreamlike. Snyder begins her work with an ekphrastic piece, “A Pastel Study in Shadow.” Snyder writes in “Part Three” of her “Pastel Study”:

She sits alone with her guest
In the non-light of dusk
Her feet firm on the floor

Calls it by name without distress
Hands warm on sloped thighs

When the light fades
The shade will eat
The lilac dust

(Read the full review at Slim Gizzards Poetry Review)