Winner of the 2002 Alberta Prize
Skewed, ajitter, sui generis–the hyper, cyberized world as if viewed through an old Bell and Howell home movie camera on the fritz, its motor at quarter speed and burning out, the lens blurred and cracked. And what an odd, disturbing, startling world Tina Celona’s poems provide.
Tina Celona’s poems unite the contraries of perception (the “real moon”) and imagination (“the moon in my poem”), to realize “the real moon of poetry.” This allows her free rein in both realms (“my dream and my body”) since, after all, they are one. With her keen eye and fine sense of rhythm, she can include a chaotic world, a vague family, a difficult farm, a singular loneliness–all in what sometimes seems a side glance. This is a fine collection and, one fervently hopes, only a beginning.
The Real Moon of Poetry is one of the most engagingly distinctive first books of poetry I have seen in some time. Read it and weep, read it and laugh, read it and be amazed. The enormity of saying anything here becomes palpable, a beauty occasioned by courageous precision that cannot be compromised or distracted–nor rest. This is the real deal and that rare thing: an original voice.