Friday, December 14, 2012

Read It! Wrap It! Love It! -- The Cento: A Collection of Poems

I am in AWE of poets. Magicians, they are, able to distill life and experience to their often surprising essence. So maybe they're moonshiners too, stirrers of mash and sippers of elixirs. We have some poets among our Mojito sisters, so I know they'll appreciate my December must-have, and my Book Happy recommendation -- Theresa Welford's anthology The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems.(which you can order HERE).

A cento is a poem composed entirely from lines of other works in a new form or order. It means "patchwork" in Latin, and like visual collages, it includes images reworked into a new vision. ANd this collection of cento poems apparently rocks. According to no less an authority than X.J. Kennedy, “Theresa Welford’s anthology of poems in that curious form the cento is a true labor of love. In an array of patchwork poems by poets famous and poets new, The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems reveals both the dangers of the form (creating chaos) and its rich rewards when performed with wit and creativity on the part of the poet (as in R. S. Gwynn’s hilarious cannibalization of The Norton Anthology of Poetry). No one will supercede this achievement for a long time, I’d guess—maybe not for a hundred years.”

An excellent gift for YOUR favorite poet.