Orange Tulips is a story, told in narrative lyric poetry, of a young woman’s protracted struggle with mental illness and her eventual hard-won recovery. Victoria Reynolds writes, “These are poems that relish ‘the ecstatic lift/of strength and artifice,’ that poetry-making contributes to the difficult work of becoming who we are.”
About the Author
Joan Barasovska lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She hosts a monthly poetry series at McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro and serves on the Board of the North Carolina Poetry Society. Her poems have appeared in Kakalak, San Pedro River Review, Flying South, Crossing the Rift, Red Fez, Speckled Trout Review, Main Street Rag, Redheaded Stepchild Magazine, and other journals and anthologies. Joan has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of Birthing Age (Finishing Line Press, 2018), Carrying Clare (Main Street Rag, 2022), and Orange Tulips (Redhawk Publications, 2022).
The poems in Joan Barasovska’s Orange Tulips are so powerfully teeming with visceral life, the inattentive reader might be forgiven for overlooking their consummate craft. Each poem in this collection is distinguished by the honesty of its details, its fully-rendered tone, and its careful formal design. The book itself is just that: a book, each of whose poems adds to the unfolding arc of narrative, never belabored but always fully present, anchoring and enlarging the individual utterances, until the whole is indeed larger than the sum of its parts. The thrill of reading Orange Tulips is multi-dimensional: Each poem stands on its own, but each participates in the unfolding narrative. Here are rage and grief, loss and pure bewilderment, enacted through a lens of honesty and love. Orange Tulips is a significant achievement.
Michael Hettich, author of The Mica Mine (winner of the 2020 Lena Shull Award), To Start an Orchard, Bluer and More Vast