Nirala to release distinguished American photographer Fran Antmann’s book, Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams in January, 2017

Maya Healers: A Thousand DreamsPhotographs and text by Fran Antmann

ISBN 9-788182-500631  pp.200 2017 Hardcover 

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A book of photographs and writing that explores the power and mystery of ancient indigenous healing practices among the Maya people of Guatemala.

“Fran Antmann grew to know a culture, lived in it, merged with it, translated it,and loved it. She photographed the dreams that guide us to wisdom and healing, then wrapped those images in quetzal feathers. Today, she returns her vision of the world to the men and women she met through this encounter between cultures. It is a privilege to have been invited to write the preface to this book which is more than a book—it is a revelation.

Carolina Escobar Sarti, Guatemalan poet

“Fran Antmann’s work in Maya Healers, years in the making, is imbued with the depth and texture only great photography can achieve; where the images transcend being mere documents but reach great art. Many of the images, especially of the people in their daily lives, are transcendent and absolutely gorgeous, revealing an empathy and visual perception that is timeless.”

— Ed Kashi, international prize-winning photojournalist

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“…With clear-eyed reporting and her starkly moving images of Mayan life along the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, and the healers who live and work there, Fran Antmann has shed light on a story known to few outside the Mayan world….”

 —Joyce Maynard, novelist and journalist

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Maya healers derive their powers from connection to the supernatural. Drawing on dreams, intuition and ancient traditions, they heal the sick surrounded by friends and family. I was privileged to be included in these intense, intimate healings and to listen to the stories and dreams of these healers, shamans and bonesetters. Thirty years ago such ceremonies could have triggered a brutal crackdown. Now they are now part of a proud resurgent Maya identity.

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Fran Antmann is a documentary photographer, writer and teacher living in Brooklyn, New York. For thirty years, she has been documenting the lives and cultures of the Maya, Andean, Inuit and Dene indigenous people—in the villages surrounding Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, in the villages and mining towns of the Peruvian highlands, in the tundra of the Canadian Arctic and in Baffin Island, Canada.

Her work has been exhibited and published in New York, Texas, Peru, Mexico, France, England and Denmark.  Her photographs are in the collections of the International Center of Photography, the Brooklyn Museum, the Haverford College Collection, The Museum of Photographic Arts, Denmark, and various private collections.

Antmann received a doctorate in Fine Arts from New York University and teaches at Baruch College, City University of New York.  She has received grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Ford Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Agfa Corporation, the Social Science Research Council, the Puffin Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Foundation. She was also awarded numerous New York State Foundation for the Arts fellowships.

 

 

Nirala to release distinguished American poet and playwright Irene O’ Garden’s “Fulcrum: Selected Poems in December 2016

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Fulcrum: Selected Poems

by Irene O’ Garden

ISBN 9-788182-500860  pp.90 2017 Hardcover Demy

 

Praise for Irene O’Garden’s Work

Sparkling musicality, deep emotion and discerning reflection distinguish O’ Garden’s poems. Here is a fine intelligence at work—and at play—revealing a tonic perspective in a range of poetic expression, including lyric, narrative and her own innovative “fulcrum” forms. Her close observation and sensual delight in language make “Fulcrum” an experience both grounding and uplifting.

“Bewitching…astounding…heartbreaking” — New York Times

“For many years now, the poet, playwright, and memoirist Irene O’Garden has been a hero to me. I think of her as a walking, writing, beam of light… numberless others will come to know her gifts and, most of all, her captivating talent for wonder and marvel.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“Lush imagery…poetry set to the life cycle of nature.”

–Kirkus Reviews

 

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Distinguished American poet and playwright, Irene O’ Garden’s poetry has found its way to stage, e-screen, hardcover, literary magazines, anthologies and now, her first collection. Her critically acclaimed play Women On Fire, (Samuel French) played sold-out houses at Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award. O’Garden won a Pushcart Prize for her lyric essay “Glad To Be Human,” (Untreed Reads) Harper published her memoir Fat Girl (Untreed Reads, e-form) and her poems and essays have been featured in dozens of literary journals and anthologies. O’ Garden founded The Art Garden, a performing literary magazine which she produced and hosted for twenty-five years. She now contributes to the spoken word event 650-Where Writers Read, in New York City and Sarah Lawrence College. Irene is also a Poetry Educator with the Hudson Highlands chapter of the national River Of Words program, connecting children to nature via poetry and art.

Praise for Irene O’Garden’s Fulcrum.

Fulcrum is a stunning assessment of human life on the planet, a requiem of the mutant seasons when ‘wind steals/the juices from our eyes/our land cracks open / with an unrequited love ‘and ‘our mountains are on fire.’

Experimental, theatrical and engaging, these poems are like molten lava of our minds, ‘a single stinging tear,’ a howl of every heart, a garland of ‘offered images’ on the altar of life,  ‘funeral of funerals themselves,’ and a song of  ‘American shame (that) brings us to our knees.’

This is a newer version of The Waste Land, a metaphoric pyramid of natural elements whose admirations ‘blooms like fruit,’ a casebook of the wounds of life and the wisdom you draw out of them. Like splinter of a stone that the poet once stepped on never came out, the poems once read will become part of you and help you ‘know the knowing that we know.’

–Yuyutsu Sharma, Himalayan Poet, author of Quaking Cantos; Nepal Earthquake Poems and A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems

The poems in Irene O’Garden’s new book, Fulcrum, illustrate the importance and vitality of poetry in our daily lives.  Beautiful imagery, powerful emotions, simplicity, complexity and thought provoking subjects – all drawn from relatable life experiences – make reading her work a journey of discovery and reflection by focusing on what it means to live a life of passion and wonderment.   Like the author herself, the poems in these pages inspire and draw one in. This is a beautiful collection.  

Professor Jane Kinney-Denning of Pace University, President of Women’s National Book Association

Somewhere between Wordsworth and Dylan Thomas but soaring on her own wings, Irene O’Garden flies high, taking language to new strata with effortless-appearing dips and ascents which made me gasp. Every line could be a poem in itself. I often thought of the “green fuse of life” as nature and color combine in indescribable but absolutely recognizable ways.”

—Laura Shaine Cunningham, best-selling memoirist (Sleeping Arrangements and A Place in the Country) and frequent NY Times contributor.

An immersion into what we relish, how we live, a kind of shining beacon that doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff…Highly recommended.

Janet Pierson, Producer SXSW Film Conference and Festival

In a far-ranging and elegant suite of poems, Irene O’Garden balances a galaxy of incommensurates on the fulcrum of a disciplined intelligence. “I am a blueprint of Herbert-like sacred meditation, the latter in a narrative about being chased by a bull. Her technique suggests influences ranging from Donne to Bishop, from Frost to Moore. Soulful and rewarding, these poems remind us that “We’re not made of matter but of mattering.”

—T.R. Hummer, whose poems appear in The New Yorker, Best of American Poetry, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, and twelve volumes of his own.

Having delighted in and been enlightened by Irene’s eloquent human poetics for over two decades, I was kind of shocked when she told me this was her first published poetry collection. I couldn’t quite believe it. Then I checked all her warmly gifted and gratefully shared titles on my bookshelf and yes, indeed, this was her first poetry collection.

And thus, Fulcrum, where we all balance and “blossom like a love-mussed bed.” Like “a wound in the noon of a life.” Language hinging on voice. Voice on the cyclone currents of our aches and pains. Our joy and promise. The realization that “I sing a thanking song.” And “caress creation’s verbs.”

– – Mike Jurkovic, curmudgeon poet, VP, Calling All Poets

Announcing New Edition of Yuyutsu Sharma’s Space Cake, Amsterdam, and Other Poems from Europe and America

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Space Cake, Amsterdam & Other Poems from Europe and America

Yuyutsu RD Sharma
ISBN-81-8250-059-1 2014 Hard pp. 100

Sharma is “a shaman…black bag bulging / from magical rainbows, / serpents from an Hindu Heaven, / skull of an abducted female Yeti,” and he casts spells in these strange, visionary, outrageous and magical poems.’
Tony Barnstone
The Albert Upton Professor and Chair of English
Whittier College, Author/Translator of Everyman’s Chinese Erotic Poems

A fiercely sublime poet …the book confirms an enormous talent, as well as purity of purpose with which he approaches his calling. Lines jump out, burning themselves into your consciousness.
Eddie Woods in Amsterdam Weekly

Yuyutsu RD Sharma brings the bracing airs of the Himalayas to any city. His vigorous, expansive and elemental poems leave Yeti tracks on the streets and mule trails on the Tube. They are packed with rapturous couplings of the urban and the feral.
Pascale Petit, Former Poetry Editor, Poetry London

Most noted, justifiably, for his poems about his native India/Nepal, Mr Sharma proves in this volume that he is a genuine poet of the English-speaking world whose gentle yet ironic gaze is equally at home in the west, and equally adept with cultures which must have been as strange to him at first as the Yeti is to us.

So, if you want a glimpse of the future, when cosmopolitan writers cross borders and enrich techniques, Space Cake, Amsterdam is an excellent place to start. Mr Sharma is living proof that English has become the medium for international cultural exchange, and that poets of his skill and scope are its chroniclers and sages.
Robert Scotto
Professor of English and Comparative Literature,
Baruch College, CUNY