Lowering the Body
by Stephen Murabito
ISBN Complete: 978-1-932842-30-2
Publisher: Star Cloud Press
Publisher Number: 6011418
Publisher Reference Number: 9781932842302
Year of Publication: 2008
Page Count: 84
The Communion of Asiago, by Stephen Murabito
The Oswego Fugues, by Stephen Murabito
"Following The Oswego Fugues and Communion of Asiago, Stephen Murabito consummates his trilogy for a former time and place: the 1960s and the West Eighth Street neighborhood of Oswego, New York, where people still carry the strong scents and accents of old countries. These lovely narrative poems- inflected with the 'home ache' that is nostalgia's English translation-lament the loss of the local everywhere. As testament and elegy, they demonstrate the wages of trading 'bad cheddar for good Gargonzola,' but by writing, Murabito redeems even that defeat."
—Julia Spicher Kasdorf MFA Program Director, Penn State University
"Stephen Murabito's new collection, Lowering the Body, vividly brings to life a time, the 1960s, and place, upstate New York, that is lost to history, but beautifully rendered in these poems. As seen through the eyes of a child-observer whose Italian-American father runs one of those corner grocery stores that began disappearing by the end of that decade, the lives of an extended family, friends, and colorful neighbors are lovingly detailed. One hilarious and trenchant poem, 'My Mother Joins the Hippies,' portrays a moment in the community when protest of the Viet Nam War and women's rights accidentally met in the rural north: 'Mrs. Berlin, Mrs. Ferraro, and Mrs. Grimaldi joined the hippies' protesting that a pregnant teacher who is 'showing' has lost her job, Mother among the women joining the march and 'Carrying the grocery stamper higher and higher like some kind of baton.' In the heartbreaking 'Burying Cousin Peter,' the grieving father of the soldier son who died in Viet Nam beats 'a man up onto his front porch/ leaving him to bleed/ Into the last green of that year's tomatoes' and then gives his son's Cadillac to the man by way of apology. One thinks of today's lost sons and daughters, to which this poem relates. Murabito has a fine ear for spoken language, and an impeccable sense of the quotidian and the moral. This tender portrait of a backwater town registering on a daily level the impact of the great social changes of the 1960s is rich with narrative insight and at times ribald, life-affirming, Felliniesque humor."
—Cynthia Hogue Author of The Incognito Body and Flux
About the Author:
A native of Oswego, New York, Stephen Murabito is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. He was a National Endowment for the Arts fellow in poetry in 1992. His poems and stories have appeared widely in such periodicals as Beloit Poetry Journal, Mississippi Review, 5AM, Poet Lore; North American Review, Brooklyn Review, Caketrain, and Antietam Review. He is the author of the poetry chapbook A Little Dinner Music (Parallel Press, 2004) and the book-length poem The Oswego Fugues (Star Cloud Press, 2005); he is also the author and editor of the composition reader Connections, Contexts, and Possibilities (Prentice Hall, 2001) He lives in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife, April, and their four children-Angelina, Estella, Antonia, and Sebastian.
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