On the poetry collection, Orpheus in the Park:
Current News (updated 1/28/08):
A new review of Orpheus in the Park by poet Alex McRae has just appeared on Eyewear, a London–based review of literature, film, and music. McRae writes, “The poems in this collection . . . find ordinary human motivations within ancient myths, and something strange and magical within everyday moments.” Click here for the full review.
A review of Orpheus in the Park also appears in the current issue of the New Hope International Review, an independent small press review based in the U.K. Reviewer Fionna Simmonds calls the book “a brilliant collection” evoking “the challenges and weaknesses of humanity itself.” Click here for the full review.
The Orphic, mythic poems here may wear masks, but they reveal the voices of self–knowledge and self–revelation. Rose Solari is a poet of accomplished emotion, in poems thoroughly felt and wholly thought–through, whether she is speaking in the tongues of gods or for those she loves. In whatever terms, nothing can disguise the tenderness at the heart of her story.
I admire Rose Solari’s poems for their steadiness in the presence of emotional challenge. She writes about the real things that happen to us, transforming them, by means of secure craft and loving attention to detail, into works of art that happen to us in more durable ways.
Rose Solari’s brilliant and moving poems spring from a highly original fusion of technique, wit, spirituality, and rare passion. They show a poet working at the height of her powers.
These poems won me over completely, because they don’t use classical mythology as a source of erudite, elitist and off–putting allusion, but instead Solari digs deep, really deep, into the myths themselves to find in them the models, reflections, and illuminations for our own lives.
On the poetry chapbook, Selections from Myths & Elegies:
This is wonderful poetry, very evocative, sensual, and wry. Rose Solari is a masterful writer.
On the one–act play, Looking for Guenevere:
Solari’s background as a poet is often obvious in her choice of imagery, and she’s a bit of a comic, too. The message – that Guenevere’s transformation into abbess after her life of passion was a positive choice – is convincingly delivered and surprisingly uplifting.
–The Washington Post
Solari studies the legend with an objective eye and comes up with telling observations. Even her speculations, as the two women take turns inventing entries in Guenevere’s journal, feel right. Very good indeed.
–The Washington Times
On the poetry collection Difficult Weather, winner of the 1995 Columbia Book Award for poetry:
Difficult Weather is a poetry of neighborhoods more interesting than safe, a world determined by coincidence, longing, and the repeatable magic of the quotidian. Her language is by turns raw and luminous, her perceptions uncommonly acute, and her vision at once incisive and compassionate.
–Carolyn Forch©, poet, from the Judge’s statement
The “first infatuation,” Rose Solari reminds us, is with “speed.” Speed here is not the result of time over distance, but is the velocity of the heart as it takes us to our difficult and inevitable destinations. Solari is a poet of passion who writes with care and precision. Difficult Weather will delight and surprise us all.
–Michael Collier, Director, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
The poignant tone often found in these pages is sometimes born of a roughness, of images wrested from some of life’s dirtier windshields. Solari’s willingness to risk such detail reminds me of the muted whispers of trumpeter Miles Davis, or the singing of the mature Billie Holiday. Like them, Solari has a deep understanding of the sound of language.
–Reuben Jackson, poet and curator, the Smithsonian’s Duke Ellington Collection
On the poetry chapbook, The Stolen World, winner of the 1993 ARTSCAPE Publication Prize:
The Stolen World just kept calling me back to it. The poems are just so strong, the selections organized into a cycle which holds together to create a natural and necessary order. This is rare today. Rose Solari is a poet new to me, but she is clearly a poet I shall keep watching for as her reputation inevitably grows.
–Tom O’Grady, poet, from the judge’s statement