UPDATE: Author Pat Valdata has a few copies of her book left. Please pm me for her e-mail address.
This week's round-up is hosted at Carol's Corner. There's lots of poetry fun there to enjoy. First, I need to give you a tissue alert for her original poem, I Will Love You Well. Oh, my....what a beauty.
I have another book review to share.
Where No Man Can Touch (West Chester University Poetry Center 2015) by Pat Valdata was recommended to me by poet-author Laura Shovan. Laura saw that I was working on some persona poems and thought I might get some ideas from Pat's exquisite work.
I hope so! The book begins with Ms. Valdata's dedication,
--Dedicated to all the women pilots who preceded me and made my own flying possible.
The fifty-six poems of this book are of fifty-six women record holders of flight--a reminder of the shoulders upon which we stand. From balloon flight to dirigible to bi-plane and glider to helicopter, determined women steadily pushed into the the very male dominated field of flight. It wasn't easy for most women. But, with the difficult moments and situations is a great deal of humor and heroism and nerve.
|Harriet Quimby in cockpit of plane. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, |
Though the women in this book are from a variety of nations including France, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States they all share wonderment for the feeling of being freed from the ground to be in the vast sky. I became so curious about these women I started combing Library of Congress for photographs of some of them. Aren't they amazing writing prompts all on their own?
|Harris & Ewing, photographer. MILLER, MISS BERNETTA. MOISSANT AVIATRIX. IN BLERIOT PLANE. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, |
As someone who has recently learned about the Night Witches of World War II, I especially enjoyed the short poem Red Stars and Nigh Witches in the voices of Lydia Litvyak and Katya Budenova. But there are many, many other details of women's history tucked into these poems...bloomers and flappers and barn stormers, Bendix racers and more. Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart make appearances...but it's nice to see them as part of a larger collection of women breaking flying records.
|Bain News Service, Publisher. Ruth Law arriving at N.Y. plane. date created or published later by Bain. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, |
Before I leave this post I would like to point out that this is a poetry collection for adults...not a kidlit novel in verse or biography in verse. Although, I will absolutely make Where No Man Can Touch available to my middle school students as we return to school. Furthermore, this poetry collection is a winner of the Donald Justice Prize, Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award from West Chester University. Each poem stands on its own as the collection builds.
I thoroughly enjoyed how much I learned about poetry and aviators in this book.