Photo by Billy Biakecki
for The Local World
The Local World rewards the reader with its close attention to grackles, horseshoe crabs, fiddler crabs, and the magnificent letter O. And although this is primarily a book of elegies, its theme is not loss, but wonder at what remains—the continuing influence of friends, and the heroes who have taken root as well: a cast as diverse as Persephone, Whitman, Borges, Kahlo, and Woolf. The Local World is a treasure box. --Kim Roberts
Seeing Joanne Rocky Delaplaine’s work altogether one realizes how good a writer, flat out, she is. I’m talking about the sentence-making as well as the focus and movement from place to place within poems. This is a really fine piece of work--it has heft and resonance.
In Joanne Rocky Delaplaine’s The Local World, the close-at-hand and the unreachably far occupy a single space in the modern imagination. But locality is not merely a physical space here--the familiar and the foreign can be traversed in dreams, concomitant sounds, association,and myth. In “My Analyst’s Coat,” the coat holds “the whole long length” of our guide through these unconscious worlds, the Russia of the analyst’s heritage, but also the speaker’s old flames,or a sculpture made of gold foil, or the barrette of Emily Dickinson. Poetry is a coat like that,close and conforming and yet bearing the evidence of distances. Delaplaine is the brilliant scout through these neighborhoods and emotional landscapes of attachment and grief, this holding on and letting go. I love her book; I love its pure voice and vision; I love its resounding yes to
seeing what is here.
Cover art by Loriann Signori, "Hot Dusk," pastel