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Naming the Roses

‘What does anyone know of the open palm / her small world rests upon?

Naming the Roses is the debut full length collection by Kim Noriega, stellar poet, poetry teacher and mentor, Creative Regeneration for writers mentor, and soul sister of mine (there's no link for that). It's very pretty but it isn't as pretty as it looks.

‘Name Me,’ the opener of this long-awaited collection, is a tour de force, it storms in with its chilling juxtaposition of romance and violence in the strong, unapologetic voice of a woman. Kim Noriega is masterful at hitting the right tone with her uncompromising stark naming of male-on-female brutality, using a detailed storyteller’s specificity that reaches effortlessly into collective experience. She does not shrink from beauty either, a subtle beauty, infused with a sense of familiarity that makes her words feel like home. Home, from the womb to the wedding, abuse, suicides, silences, apples, birthdays, heirlooms, the presence of green, waterfalls, horses, tastes, sensual detail, all of the roses, ‘that magical / black rain, / ecstasy, / a flurry of starlings.’ I only wish I could inhabit the unashamed, unpitying, beautiful, warm, defiant spirit of this book that rises off it like steam.'

I wrote the piece above and doubt I could say it better now. So if in any doubt - pre-order it here! it's at a reduced price and signed too. The release will be later in April.

And if you like the cover, it's designed using one of my paintings, which Kim came across by divine accident - small giclee prints of the original painting are available here.

'It was you, beloved, / who taught the trees / my name'.

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