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Monday, April 16, 2018

A Publisher's Diary - When Creation Falls

Izzy's first box of books arrived on Friday and I've been turning the cover over and over in my hands, caressing it, loving the image and the color. When we first began talking about the cover concept for When Creation Falls, I had never heard of the Stone Flower monument in Jasenovac, Croatia.

A monument stands
at Jasenovac, a flower
or a plume of smoke
opening to the sky.

~from "I find My Own Name in Shoah Records," Izzy Wasserstein, 
When Creation Falls (Meadowlark, April 2018)

I have read these poems at least a dozen times  throughout the process of selecting Izzy's book for publication, editing the book, and working with Meadowlark's layout and design intern, Sammy Beck, turning a manuscript into pages with a cover. I am struck by the number of times Izzy's poetic phrases have come to me, as comparison to things I've seen/done, as related to something I've read in the news, as memory. And I look at this cover and think that it is a perfect example of how the world is tied together in so many ways we don't often give ourselves time to imagine. Izzy Wasserstein was born and raised in Kansas. Meadowlark is a publisher of books with strong ties to the Midwest. Yet this cover depicts a stone flower that stands in Croatia, a monument that until a few months ago did not exist for me, a monument that has opened my eyes to far-reaching results of a story I thought I knew.

Nothing is so strange or new if you open your eyes wide enough, if you allow your mind to process the fact that everything is connected, that all of us are connected. Family Photo, I Rarely Write Before Dawn, Confessions of a Homeschooler, A Time Traveler Sends a Postcard Home... these are the titles of one poet's work, Izzy Wasserstein. These are the titles of poems where I see myself, as well, and because each time I come up with new connections, I will read these poems again and again.

...from "You Will Come Up Short", by Izzy Wasserstein:

The walls you build around yourself will crack.
The poem you write will fail.
This poem will fail.
Your song of protest will not sway the President,
nor the mayor, nor the mayor's dog.
You will pull apart your pockets seeking change,
and finding none, you will give up the milk,
   or the eggs, or the flour.

Starting with her Kansas childhood, Izzy Wasserstein explores questions of science and faith, myth and politics, When Creation Falls. From nights listening to Royals baseball on the radio to paleontology, from prehistoric past to end of world, these poems explore how we relate to an indifferent universe, how we make meaning, and how we might create something better.

Order through your favorite Indie Bookseller   -   Buy on Amazon
Order from Meadowlark Books

Cover Image: Bobonajbolji (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jasenovac_HDR_C.jpg), removed tree, mirrored image, added overlay - image alterations by Meadowlark Books. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

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