Join us at The Writer’s Center to celebrate the release of Yvette Neisser’s new poetry collection, Iron into Flower. Yvette is in conversation with poet Joseph Ross. Book signing to follow.
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Yvette Neisser is the author of Grip, winner of the 2011 Gival Poetry Prize. Founder of the DC-Area Literary Translators Network (DC-ALT), her translations from Spanish include South Pole/Polo Sur by María Teresa Ogliastri and Difficult Beauty: Selected Poems by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. Her poems, translations, and essays have appeared in Tikkun, Foreign Policy in Focus, Virginia Quarterly Review, Split This Rock’s The Quarry, and numerous anthologies. She has taught writing at George Washington University and The Writer’s Center, and has worked in international development and research for 20+ years. yvetteneisser.net
Joseph Ross is the author of five books of poetry: Crushed & Crowned (forthcoming, 2023), Raising King (2020), Ache (2017), Gospel of Dust (2013) and Meeting Bone Man (2012). His poems appear in many publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Xavier Review, Poet Lore, Drumvoices Revue and the 2022 anthology, WHERE WE STAND: Poems of Black Resilience. He won the 2012 Pratt Library / Little Patuxent Review Prize for his poem “If Mamie Till Was the Mother of God.” He currently serves on the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. He teaches English to high school students and writes regularly at JosephRoss.net.
About the Book
Iron into Flower is a journey of transformation. As she ponders miracles of the natural world, Neisser traces a woman’s journey from love and marriage to divorce, depression, rebirth, and self-discovery. Along the way, these lyric poems explore themes of family, identity, grief, Jewish history, world events, yoga, and art. Neisser considers the world her palette, and through this collection, she weaves together threads of lived and imagined experiences, past and present, to bring the reader from darkness to beauty, from tribulations to triumph.
“You must change your life, / say the rabbis of old” begins a poem from Iron into Flower, Yvette Neisser’s second collection. Like those rabbis, Neisser’s deceptively simple poems pose age-old questions about memory, identity, love, faith, and morality. And when calamity strikes—a death, an auto accident, a divorce—the poems’ speaker, also named “Yvette Neisser,” does indeed change her life, reclaiming her body, her identity, even her name. Timeless rituals—the sun’s arc, the passing of the seasons, the quiet pleasures of making tea and flipping tortillas—help reassure even the most troubled souls who haunt these poems. Neisser writes, “Bless us all, the whole imperfect lot of us.” And she means it: these are poems of healing and grace. –Katherine E. Young, author of Woman Drinking Absinthe, Poet Laureate Emerita, Arlington, VA