Fermentations

9781888160235, 82p, June, 2017

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All around us life is fermenting—wild and bubbling through air-locks & emotions

Fermentations is a bold and rising celebration of yeast, place, elements, and transformations. A journey through all your senses—hear a lady with a bronzed face and tangled grape vine hair tell rich and ancient stories. Smell the sweetness as a Moroccan baker sprinkles the streets of Paris with pasion after the November 2015 attack. Live the horrors of fracking, dodge bullets from gangsters, drink wine with colorful Sicilian immigrants. These poems intermingle fantasy, nightmares, good times, and the realities of our days.

“Salvatore Marici’s keenly insightful poems sink into our subconscious, ferment and transform themselves into more profound perceptions of the universe. Whether set in a grain mill, or little Sicily in Chicago, or on the banks of the Mississippi River, Marici grounds us in the local—the soil, the fruits and vegetables, the grains and meats of the natural world. At the same time, Fermentations masterfully gives us a taste of what lies beyond the horizon.”–Mary Swander, Poet Laureate of Iowa

“In Fermentations, Salvatore Marici displays a wide range of empathy, inhabiting not only human speakers, but animals and single-celled organisms, among other creatures. And it is his empathy that guides his most successful poems—consider, for example, “Amoeba’s Ego,” which ends with: “My greatness / wants more of me. / So, I cut / myself in half.” Not only are those lines funny, but they speak to the pain of being overwhelmed by egocentrism. At a time when we’re are told every day that the only being that matters is the self, these poems are potent and valuable.”–Shane McCrae, author, The Animal Too Big to Kill

“Sal Marici’s Fermentations rings with the spirit of the great poet, Stanley Kunitz. He fills everyday details with terrific music and insight. These are bright, dymanic poems.”–Terrance Hayes, author, How To Be Drawn

“2017 looks like a good year in Marici Gardens. Using his yeasty imagination, Salvatore Marici has turned a bountiful crop of ideas, events, places, and people into a lush book of poems. D.H. Lawrence once wrote a friend, ‘Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh.’ Nearly all of Sal Marici’s poems in this volume celebrate, ‘alive in the flesh’ And he makes the writing of those poems sound like such great fun that you may want to start a garden and do a bit of fermenting yourself.”–Roald Tweet, Professor Emeritus of English at Augustana College

“Observation through a poetic lens is the essence of Fermentations. It intoxicates the ordinary and we escape into Sal Marici’s mindset of what is and what is not.” — Marc Kelly Smith, founder of the International Poetry Slam movement.

“The poetry collected in Salvatore Marici’s Fermentations, holds tight to a narrative which like a voluptuous garden, requires constant attention to detail and language. Each poem that Marici plants, grows, and harvests in Fermentations is anchored in rich syntactical soil and sunlight. Fermentations, is full of lyrical meditations on migration, pop-culture, religious wonderings, hunger and war of the body, soul and land. The reader is left well fed and satisfied. Poem after poem, Marici serves up language full of energy and delivers a poetics that is as aesthetically pleasing as a fine meal from a five-star restaurant. Get ready dear reader, the table has been set—enjoy the meal.”–Xavier Cavazos, Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellow

“The ‘Fermintations’ of Salvatore Marici’s poems are the nearly impossible and necessary release of heat, some generosity of insight and meaning amid the confounding circumstances of our lives today. The erotic, the fantastic, the mundane, and the banal all live in these poems. Marici’s applies ordinary daily language to the extraordinary, where with a little time, a little good soil, the reader can enjoy the ripened fruit of his remarkable vision. These are poems worth coming back to, again and again.”–James Brock, author nearly Florida

Fermentations, by Salvatore Marici, celebrates earthiness in all its forms, mostly the gustatory. These unpretentious, potent poems remind us to resist the plastic temptations of the consumer economy that has all but overwhelmed us. This collection, enjoyable to read and ripe with meaning, amounts to an argument for the slow path forward.”–Kelly Daniels, author, Cloudbreak, California

“Salvotore Marici again sinks his mind’s fingers deeply into the stuff of life, touching a diverse and random sampling for his latest, irresistible gem, Fermentations. From edibles (“Baked Collage”) to aesthetics (“As the Late Afternoon Settles”), Marici beguiles us to follow his complex trail of sublime universal experiences through his special interpretive vision. Bubbling with whimsy, seriousness, wistfulness, darkness, the ever-shifting content mirror the fluidity and constant change of a grand, creative fermentation. And, as fermenting transforms sugars to alcohol, Marici’s organic, minimalistic layerings of words transform the readers’ perceptions to heady results. Sometimes with a ‘tween the eyes directness, at other times, elusive as a peripheral flicker, Fermentations will entice each reader to revisit its bounty of poems many times. Such visits will bear such sweet differences as the same vineyard’s harvest produces different vintages from one season to the next. Salute!”–John Busbee, President/Host/Producer for The Culture Buzz

“In his new collection Fermentations, Salvatore Marici brings his agronomist’s sensibilities to locations as varied as Belize and Guatemala, to the upper Mississippi River Valley and Chicago’s North Side. In every location, his sensual perceptions highlight our relationship to the natural world surrounding us. Reading these poems is like meandering through a garden of luscious plants and food. Marici has a constant eye on our cultural relationship with what can be grown, and the planet we live on and care for.” –Felicia Schneiderhan, author, Newlyweds Afloat

“When popped open, Sal Marici’s poems, like variously filled, various sized jars on the shelves of a fruit cellar, emit sour or sweet scents promising crisp or chewy bites. Well-seasoned, his poems pack satisfying aural punches, often doing without articles and punctuation. They bring the reader into an unexpected and unsentimental appreciation of the mundane through energetic use of alliteration, assonance and consonance; Marici coaxes, raises, and subdues sounds like a veteran conductor. Sample two bites from a jar labeled “Concourse K Food Court”: “The other lunchers crunch fries, bite burgers./Their tongues lick salt sugar on lips.” You won’t leave his book hungry.”–Nancy Hayes, English Professor, Saint Ambrose University

“Salvatore Marici serves up a banquet of rich sights and smells and flavors in his new collection Fermentations. He embraces a wide world, from Paris, Chicago, the Middle East, Chinese prisons where men sleep forty to a cell, the Beatles, Carl Sandburg, Venetian boys. Even his own personal memories feel timeless: ‘tenants pay rent to Grandpa with dried fruits.’ Read this collection and know the pleasures of preserving summer’s bounty for spare winter months: ‘I will inhale the perfume tonight.’”—Stephen Frech, author, The Dark Villages of Childhood

Salvatore Marici is the author of the chapbook Mortals, Nature, and their Spirits and a poetry collection entitled Swish Swirl & Sniff. He was the Midwest Writing Center’s 2010 Poet-in-Resident. His poetry has appeared in Toasted Cheese, Descant (Canadian publication), Spillway, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, Earth’s Daughter and many others journals, magazines, and anthologies. In addition, both the Lee County Alliance for the Arts and the Midwest Writing Center have published broadsides of his poems. He has won several poetry contests, judged poetry contests, and taught poetry workshops. Marici served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and is a civil servant retiree as an agronomist.