On the Altar of Greece Is Released
On the Altar of Greece by Donna J. Gelagotis Lee, winner of the 2005 Gival Press Poetry Award, has been released by Gival Press.
The book was recently nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and has received the following advance praise:
“The poetry of Donna J. Gelagotis Lee combines the sharp resourcefulness of the observer with the powers of the visionary. Her poems travel both in time and in memory to Greek villages and to Athens, bringing with them the spiky sensibility of a contemporary American woman….” —Molly Peacock, author of Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems
“Like the hands she describes preparing food, Lee stirs up a rich linguistic concoction…. She knows that to empathize distinguishes the gifted poet from the merely good one, and enacts her compassion through the concreteness of her writing. With that physicality, she brings to life the numinous core of language.” —Dean Kostos, author of Last Supper of the Senses
(Photo by Alicia Kozikowski of Pryde Brown Photographs.)
\”Donna J. Gelagotis Lee’s On the Altar of Greece actually does place its reader before, or on, an elevated place where the ceremony of everyday sublime life in Greece plays out. Without resorting to prefabricated classical references we’ve already heard to the nth, she includes us totally in everything she experiences and sharply senses there, the orange-turned-yellow air, corners of walls, the shaded grove of stone men, the dark beach, a thread through looped thread, Poseidon cracking a wave, goat bells, \’the speech unfolding / that flung dice against the white walls / until they wore eyes.\’ Then, as important, there’s the undertow of her subtle and deft suggestions of how the people in these scenes relate, and of the intriguingly close connection she herself has to them. Ms. Lee shows us a new, vivid, freshly layered world inside an ancient and long-known one. With her eyes, strong mind and solidly classical style of picturing in new terms this historical place turned myth turned \’real\’ again, the journey of our time at this altar offers us a striking, immense set of views of a world we thought we knew, and still, wonderfully, do know in much richer ways by the end.\” —Don Berger, Judge of the 2005 Gival Press Poetry Award, Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, Maryland, and author of Quality Hill and The Cream-Filled Muse