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Comments on The Silence of Doorways:
What appeals to me most about these surpassingly lovely poems is the way they combine a trance-like calm with a sense of unease, and a luminous clarity with a feeling of deep abiding mystery. And when she's really on her game, Sharon Venezio -- one of the best darn lyric poets to have wandered into L.A. in many a year -- can make the ephemeral seem tangible and the mundane transcendent. Few could draw forth such elevated notes as these from a five-hundred dollar '76 Chevy Nova: "It was more beautiful/ than salt air,/ ocean, wing,// It was passage,/ shift, spark.// The bone-dry/ squeaky waste land/ where life began."
– Suzanne Lummis
In this impressive debut collection, Sharon Venezio photographs the stopped fragments of memory in order to restore the self to a dynamic flux of lived experience—“the wild dishevelment of being, that fierce blue drowning”— a kaleidoscopic portrait that refutes the socially mediated subject position and the hunted vulnerability fixed by a male scope. In a daring act of rescue and art making, Venezio seeks the frameless frame, one that comprehends without limiting, shelters without walling in the silence.
— Chad Sweeney
These completely engaging and unselfconscious poems are attentive to memory’s various gifts and terrors, and its impact on both the outer and inner life. Witness her history with family, birds, a 1976 Chevy Nova, the breathing of a sleeping lover, the presence of insects and wild animals –Venezio captures all of it with her inner camera and presents to us her long-awaited fruits of “..the burden of memory.” From fiery, heart-stopping meditations on a childhood and elegies to joyous still lifes and portraits, she works by hand a personal museum with perfect words arranged just so. Poets and everybody, listen when she says, “if you want to avoid annihilation, open your mouth and sing” and get ready to be sung to in this marvelous first collection.
– Roxane Beth Johnson
Reviews of The Silence of Doorways
Outside of a Cat