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Free Ferry reveals the intrigue and secrecy around the first isolation of plutonium and its impact on an iconic "nuclear" family decades later. Science collides with mythology as the narrator observes her mother, Eurydice, embrace and resist an "underground" existence as postwar suburban housewife. In this 1960s snapshot of classic Americana, idyllic peace flows over ...more
Paperback, 68 pages
Published April 7th 2017 by Upper Hand Press LLC
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Free Ferry's compelling, simultaneous narratives caught me unaware; but, like a foreign language that I somehow understood, I found myself exploring two worlds where past and present collide. Ann Cefola’s musical, rhythmic use of language and image time and again made me stop to re-read a line. I’ve already read Free Ferry twice, and each time, I discover some new nugget that makes me smile, or gasp in wonder at her way with words. I recommend this book for serious poets who will parse Cefola’s ...more
Free Ferry is captivating--a book-length poem that sheds dazzling light on growing up in Cold War America. Readers get two unique narratives for the price of one--the top in the voice of a 5-year-old child full of wonder, delight, complete with a plethora of cultural references of the time; the bottom narrative, a generous gaze into the development of the atom bomb. Cefola masterfully intertwines both in stunning images and beautiful language. A fascinating and unique read...highly recommended.
Free Ferry is so fascinating I couldn't put it down. The story is told in poetry form about the everyday life of Orpheus and Eurydice intertwined with the secret dealings of the discovery of plutonium. Ann Cefola is a genius in her creative manner of telling this story. I loved the way the pages were laid out.
It is a compelling read.
It is a compelling read.
Free Ferry is a work of poetry that hearkens back to an earlier time, recalling post-war prosperity with an air of wistfulness. It contrasts the innocence of childhood and family with the harsh realities of world politics, but still retains the double-edged sword of science versus emotion, knowledge versus love. The worlds painted between its pages show ladies who always wear skirts and bright red lipstick, and men who are war veterans. The nostalgia for this bygone are is explored via various ...more
In "Free Ferry" Ann Cefola has crafted a nostalgic and insightful look at the bizarre cultural era of the Cold War USA. Like a musical counterpoint, she deftly evokes the domestic images of the era: cocktail parties, black and white TV, carefree childhoods in suburban backyards where bullying and 'zero tolerance' were unheard of. At the same time, and pulsing ominously beneath that Ozzie and Harriet bliss, there was the burgeoning nuclear arms race, a race in which the author's father-in-law ...more
The unique structure of a traditional poem layout with a bottom narrative give the reader many opportunities to read poems horizontally and vertically. Hot and cold contrasts are explored, dichotomies between the vibrant and the flat, intellectual science transposed next to suburban cold war life. Two stories are being told at once, woven together and they ultimately merge. There is no other poet like Cefola. Her tight, article-free lines zero in on ideas like a microscope and the style of ...more
Like our memories, Free Ferry is an epic poem that flows freely as it explores the abundant and rich sensations of a baby boomer childhood and contrasts them with the 'second voice', that of the physicist father as he moves through life, experiencing the wonders and dangers of scientific discovery of the same era. Ann Cefola's poem is a sensitive exploration of post-WWII American life. I highly recommend it.
Free Ferry is a masterpiece of craft - an epic poem of historical significance and human drama. A visually stunning journey that is thought-provoking and moving, at times funny, and always highly imaginative. Above all, the key may be the author’s ability to craft this complex world into a reader friendly tale to read again and again.
I love the togetherness and division of the text and events in Ann Cefola's Free Ferry, the two realities of private and global, trembling and rumbling, on and on, together but not. Which is the visible and which is the underworld? These are perspectives shaken, as if in a snow globe, in Cefola's capable, poet's hands.
Ann Cefola is author of Free Ferry (Upper Hand Press, 2017), Face Painting in the Dark (Dos Madres Press, 2014), St. Agnes, Pink-Slipped (Kattywompus Press, 2011), Sugaring (Dancing Girl Press, 2007), and the translation Hence this cradle (Seismicity Editions, 2007). A Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency recipient, she also received the Robert Penn Warren Award judged by John Ashbery. Her ...more