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Out of Violence into Poetry: Poems 2018–2021 (Paperback)
"Ever courageous, in these poems de memoria, Margaret Randall faces this hour of plague looking back at catastrophes that ravaged Mexico, Cuba and Central America in her younger days. She upholds the 'mystery that catches light…but something is lost, fashioned of blood and memory.' As witness, writer, mother and revolutionary, she marshals a confidence: 'I never doubted / I would do it all.' Yet in nightmares she is endlessly looking for a passport before a flight to Cuba. In spite of the closing door of her time, she sees 'a future gripped by the music of wings.' She is undeterred at 84. A tribute she writes for a friend—that death 'doesn’t close a door, your name / remains a fierce marker' —describes her own valor and integrity." —Renny Golden, author of The Music of Her Rivers
"These poems are like a shield. As one reads them, they become a gentle sailboat plowing the Southern seas as a few fish, algae, moons and stones leap around it—thrown against its timeless journey—its primary nourishment. The sun beyond. An itinerant beating heart, out of violence into poetry." —Nancy Morejón, National Literature Prize, Cuba 2001
"Reading Margaret Randall’s new book, Out of Violence into Poetry, affirmed not only my intellectual understanding of it but it was also a deeply emotional experience for me. The literary dynamic of being human is complex, intense, extensive—and seemingly limitless—and at times the human soul-spirit may feel overly challenged. Human expression is as vast as human experience and, in this book not every word, feeling, focus, view is acceptable to all, but that is poetry. I highly recommend reading Randall’s poetry." —Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma poet-writer, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas
"This book was my introduction to Randall’s poetry, it will not be the last of her books I will read. These poems were written from 2018 to 2021. She writes about anything—from Today Was a Good Day, “I woke up this morning / and was able to get out of bed…” to her times in Latin America, including Cuba, to the current Covid pandemic.... She is a fearless poet, not hesitant to write about any subject that affects her, that is painful, that is joyful. She writes about her recurring nightmares, and I’m grateful they are not mine. Because Randall does not fear death, she has not been afraid to live." —Lenora Rain-Lee Good