In these poems, Rita Signorelli-Pappas fuses classical, aesthetic, and personal history. She summons a world in which mythic time mercurially flickers into the present, and transformations erupt and intersect with Ovidian force. As the poems move from understated to extreme psychological states, they explore the thematic terrains of love, exile, travel, art-making, and death, all conveyed through a hypnotic dark-play of images and a haunting urgency of tone.
Rita Signorelli-Pappas has been writing and publishing poetry for over twenty years. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest, Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Chelsea, The Literary Review, and Poet Lore, among other journals. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was a finalist for the 2008 May Swenson Award, and she received the 2008 Italian Americana Award in Fiction.
Pappas’s work has the lush intensity of poems by Sylvia Plath or Louise Glúck, but her vision is particularly hers—gorgeous, but never merely so—there’s a hard precision and even a brutal turn to some of the passages I admire most . . . . —René Steinke
These lyrics appropriate myth or Matisse with a smooth, almost insidious thoroughness, then subtly change direction; indeed, there is always one more shift, at least, than the reader has anticipated. — Richard Maxwell