Stella Ann Nesanovich
Colors of the River
Trade Paperback (2015), 6 inches x 9 inches, 68 pages. ISBN 978-1-329-68125-5
Yellow Flag Press is excited to announce the release of our first full-length collection of poetry, Colors of the River. Stella Ann Nesanovich explores memory and home in her newest collection.
Cover art by Chris Marcello.
Some praise for Colors of the River:
To enter a Stella Nesanovich poem is to enter a sacred space, one walked by the likes of kindred souls like Catherine of Sienna, Teresa of Avila, and Hildegard of Bingen but also inhabited by in-the-world- being poets like Robert Frost, James Wright, and Seamus Heaney. Her beloved city of New Orleans, ever the invisible city on the horizon, she brings into being over and over again. I will never tire of reading the poems this master poet has collected in Colors of the River.
The elegaic waters of memory plash and ripple across these poems. The poignant churning of Nesanovich's collection carries the reader along in its compelling currents. This is poetry of both ache and celebration, as haunting and life-giving as the mighty Mississippi itself.
With her exquisite new collection of poems, Stella Nesanovich is undoubtedly one of Louisiana's most gifted poets and a contributor to the Southern elegaic tradition. She is a keeper of memories from a childhood spent in south Louisiana and a chronicler of places and events that shape a more contemporary South. Her poems read like "a nova, a shooting star exploding/innocence." In them readers will find the familiar--Cafe du Monde, Grand Coteau, the Batture, the Ogden Museum, and muffulettas--but also the eerie reflections that absence is both comfort and sorrow. One feels as though he/she has sat for one of Nesanovich's family photos.
—Philip C. Kolin
One is immediately struck by the sheer gorgeousness of these poems, their polished music and appealing lyricism. What lingers are piercing insights revealed by precise imagery and wise story-telling. Part pleasure craft, part diving bell, "Colors of the River" is a poetic voyage. I know I will dip into this volume again and again, and each time catch something new.
Full disclosure: I have known and loved many of these poems for years. In reading Colors of the River, I find these and once again welcome the honesty and the profundity, the remarkable insight that Nesanovich brings to the task of transforming the story (and stories) of her life into art. The poems that are new to me carry their own revelations, another trove of poems to know and cherish. The poems in this collection are written at different nodes in Nesanovich’s eventful life. Happily, she has devised a structure—often missing in poetry manuscripts—that bonds all the individual poems into a whole. In doing so, Nesanovich has given us a sacred story, one that challenges us to examine our own lives closely and with gratitude—all the pain, joy, detail, passion, failure, and confusion—and to learn that our own lives are made of love and holiness.
—Ava Leavell Haymon