This book cannot be returned
With the title of her debut poetry chapbook, I Won't Be/long Here , poet Lisa Mas lets readers know from the start that she views language, like life, as changeable, and that just as parts of a word can be brought together or divided, so too can members of a family, different cultures, generations across time, ingredients in a simple recipe, to result in new meanings. These themes and more thread through the poems in I Won't Be/long Here , and as they do, Mas invites the reader to see things differently, from her own multi-faceted perspective across time as child, immigrant, daughter, sister, mother, and multilingual Italian-American woman now conjuring poems, allowing us to discover pieces of ourselves, to recognize how any given circumstance of life, like a word, may impart a feeling of being whole (having a sense of belonging ), altered (be/long ), or in transition (I won't be long here).
With lines like "I am making a reduction of my life so I might understand yours" and "When you show me this wine in your kitchen, I remember the flavor of apples / picked that morning, the melt of spring butter over latticed crust / and a grandmother who splashed wine into our water to make us stronger," Lisa Mas shows that her sense of understanding and writing do belong here, in poetry, for a good long while.
-Mary Elder Jacobsen, Poet
Lisa takes us on a journey to the beloved country of her birth in the ancestral Dolomites, braiding sweet and sour tales of her love of the land, traditions and rituals that formed her core values. Her rich heritage of recipes and language illuminate each story using flavorful words from her two worlds. Being uprooted from her original home, she was faced with a challenging childhood. Yet, through it all, she held on to the rich traditions, "singing a song echoed from the mountains" that witnessed her birth and filled her bones to navigate a truly inspirational life.
-Jesse LoVasco, Author of Native (Homebound Publications)