Now Available: November 2008


by Lynn Lifshin

Like the mythic Persephone, these poems move between worlds of wild light and onyx darkness. Abducted by Hades, Persephone was kept captive in the underworld until her mother, Demeter, consumed with rage and sorrow, refused to let anything live or bloom. Grudgingly, Hades released her but only after she tasted the pomegranate he offered, a fruit that kept her bound to him for three months of the year forever. These poems move between such ecstatic glimpses of love, sex, family and that underworld of pain, loss and dark coldness between parents and children, siblings, lovers and strangers. The blues and despair in her poems, immediate and powerful as the worlds of any woman who moves from darkness and cold into the green world of rebirth, light and flowers, highlights "the combination of eros, ebullience and triste, or sadness." a Lifshin trademark.

published by Red Hen Press
List $20.95, Paperback, 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1597091243
ISBN-13: 978-1597091244

"In her latest collection: PERSEPHONE, Lifshin uses the mythic character of Persephone, who was abducted by Hades, and kept in the underworld until her mother Demeter rescued her. Like Persephone, Lifshin ‘s collection takes us from the darkness of despair to the light of love. . . . Highly Recommended." Review by Doug Holder. Read full review.

"You might as well get used to it: Lifshin is here to stay. For men, she's sexy. For women, she's an archetype of gutsy independence. As a poet, she's nobody but herself. Frighteningly prolific and utterly intense. One of a kind."
San Francisco Review of Books

"Lifshin's chipped line takes on a chantlike undertone, as of native voices themselves singing from the beyond."
New York Times Book Review

"Nightmarish snapshots, sharp visual details turned in a flash into emotional signficance."
MS magazine

"Her poems in Rolling Stone stayed on my wall longer than anyone's"
—Ken Kesey

"Lyn Lifshin's Persephone ( Red Hen, 2008) is a major new collection of her work and proves that the ( this) 'Queen of the Small Presses' is at the height of her powers as a poet. Like a singer with a perfect pitch, Lifshin's voice ranges by turns from seductive to lyrical to fierce to haunting to daring as she explores a kaleidoscope of subjects including Lovers and Leavers, Mad Girl poems, Mother/Daughter relationships, Poems of Place, Ice Maiden poems, Yet like the greatest of poets, Lyn Lifshin's voice is so distinctive and intense, you can recognize it immediately even as she astounds you with its freshness. . . .

". . . Intense ( as its striking cover indicates) and yet moving and haunting with its wide range of subjects including various female voices from mythological to contemporary and biographical as well as mother/daughter relationships, mad girl poems and ice maiden poems along with poems of place and nature poems ( flame bird poems ). Lyn Lifshin's voice is powerful and dazzling. If books were nominated for Academy Awards, this book would be getting an Oscar."
— Laura Boss' editor of Lips Poetry Magazine (among her several books, Arms)

"They are so other-worldly and flying so
beautifully in and out of this "real" universe...
I always love your poetry.....
Some of the mother poems really got to me this time. But the whole
book was just crammed
with good ones. Red Hen did a wonderful job. It reminds me quite a
bit of the Black Sparrow books, but tighter. But I think it is a good representation
of your work."

— Alice Pero, founder of Moonday poetry reading series

"I am reading Persephone and really loving it. It's a very strong book."

—Marge Piercy (American poet, novelist, and social activist), January 3, 2009

"The unique depth, textures and layers of Ms. Lifshin's work make her one of the premier poets of our time. Persephone is another affirmation of her talent; a book that will be read, re-read and re-re-read with new discoveries each time!"

—Ted Roberts (American Poet), Reviewed on Amazon, December 2008

Lyn Lifshin's poetry appears in almost every literary and poetry magazine, from American Scholar, Christian Science Monitor and Yankee to Ms., Rolling Stone and Ploughshares. She has edited 4 anthologies of women's writing including TANGLED VINES (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) now in its second enlarged edition and chosen by Ms., magazine as one of the 60 best books of the year. Other anthologies she edited include ARIADNE'S THREAD and LIPS UNSEALED. "The No More Apologizing, The No More Little Laughing Blues," included in her new book, BEFORE IT'S LIGHT from Black Sparrow Press, has been called "among the most impressive documents the women's poetry movement has produced," by Alicia Ostriker. "Writing Mint Leaves at Yaddo," a prose piece, was selected as one of the best pieces of writing about writing by Writer's Digest and Story magazine.

To read Lyn Lifshin's, Persephone, is to be energized by a flow of poems which catapult through the book... — Natalie Lobe (read the full review)