In the Heaven of Never Before
(Moon Tide Press, 2008)
"In one of my favorite poems in In the Heaven of Never Before, Carine Topal writes, 'I am teaching my son how to name things carefully/ so that nothing goes unnoticed' and this is exactly what Carine does in poem after poem. On a visit to her dying mother, she notices 'the only sound was the baby's snowsuit/crinkling as he waved his arms in the air.' On the morning when Lucille Ball dies, she remembers her mother, also a redhead, as she measured a dress she was sewing for her, 'My mothera rouge shadow cast along her forehead as she sat beneath meher head bowed . . . as she chalked and pinned, her hair hectic and fiery.' And in a poem where a stranger tries to resuscitate her father (is this right? is it her father?), ripping open his shirt, she notices the buttons fallen to the floor: 'I bent down to find three maverick pearls/ in the carpet, stars of a lost constellation, seeds of the next.' At the heart of this book are poems about family, about birth and dying, and the complicated love that endures. They remind us to pay attention in our lives, to try to notice everything."
"An extraordinary collection of poems . . . Intimate and compelling at every turn . . . Carine Topal's poems are woven with iridescent details as they lead us along her powerful emotional reflections upon what it means to be an adult woman in the world ? a daughter and a sister and a mother."
David St. John
Buy it now at Moon Tide Press
Bed of Want
(Black Zinnias, 2008)
"The world Carine Topal creates in Bed of Wantor recreates?is the world in which we all would live, if we could, if we could bear ita world in which every sense is heightened, every beauty more beautiful, and elusive and shimmering, and even sadness is a kind of rapture. Here, the radio is swooning, there's 'a promise of milk at the door.' Lush and sensual and full of the strangeness and danger of love, these poems are also sassy and savvy and simply unlike any other poems I know."
Author of LATE
In Bed of Want, the language of love and longing moves the poems and prose poems through the real and the imagined world. A strong sense of woman working her way through the world, rediscovering youth, hers and the magical world of others. Topal takes on the persona of mid-20th century travelers in her postcards and 19th-century narrators who journey inside various works of art, bringing the reader along. Topal enters each world and creates magical, surreal, and fabulist work that serves as time machine.
God as Thief
(The Amagansett Press, 1994)
"A powerful collection of serious poetry which compares favorably to that of Nelly Sachs."
"To paraphrase a passage from one of these densely textured, passionate poems, Carine Topal carries her theatre in her eyes, and her theatre is vast: family origins, her own childhood, feisty relationships with lovers, the births of children, a European sensibility in pogrom and beyond it, high culture, and a keen sense of love as it plays out towards death. Topal writes with great fluency and much verbal and lyrical beauty . . ."
Buy it now at Amazon.com