INVERTED FIRE

"In a poem on the death of a friend's daughter, Alice Friman observes “How each heart-cracked moment / arrives with its attendant image” (“Rachael Valentine”). The fifty-one poems of Inverted Fire collect as many moments, the attendant images arriving in language as carefully exact as it is reluctant to insist or declaim. At the heart of each poem lies what poetry always discovers when its attempts to speak the unsayable succeed: enigma always and everywhere on this planet Friman calls “God’s blue forsaken” (“Cardiology”)."

 

- Brooke Horvath, rev. of Inverted Fire in Indiana Review

 


 

"Friman is in love with language, and understands its powers like few writers I have read. Her sensibility is not one of dire resignation to live's difficulties, but rather that of a passionate observer and adverturer committed to seeing clearly, and to rendering, through language, her esperience, that others mights find a real-world space, a universe, of their own in her words."

- Sarah Carey, rev. of Inverted Fire in EcoTheo Review

                                                                                                                                                                                           

                               

 

"[Friman] knows how poems need to attend to the particular, how the natural world informs our self-knowing, and how language needs to be charged with spirit and energy. Friman offers insight to our world and into ourselves, while reminding us in “Night Drive,” the collection's particularly strong closing piece, how always “[t]he dark surrounds.” What we need, Friman tells us, is to embrace such a world, with all of its “broken spill of trash—its crockery, / its egg shells, its unloved dolly clutching at the dirt.” With her vital language, Friman helps us to understand how we can live in such a place."

– Philip Heldrich, rev. of Inverted Fire in The Texas Review

                                            
 

"Love is here in abundance, but when "The moon stretches back, / grins in her wide black bed" when looked at through an airplane window, you know love is hard-earned and worth looking at a second time to make sure it's not grinning at you instead of smiling. Just when you think an image has been exhausted of poetic possibilities, especially the moon, that most used and tired body, Friman gives us the image above, as well as the moon with "her white make-up," or "high white wig of bone."

– Paul Bone, rev. of Inverted Fire in Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)


 

"The piece places us in a particular moment and consciousness and with lyric force, through images that are free, wild, and new, celebrates nature, offers affirmation despite the poet's awareness of loss, enmity, and the quick burn of the dream that eludes us. The children of the title become all of us, the particular universal. The invocation of Autumn is like Keats and Shakespeare translated to our time and to the voice of a woman who has "given birth" and sees that a woman, too, or a thistle "spills her seed." The calling out of solitude, human bonding, perseverence, and hope is accomplished without need for abstract words. The music is masterful."

– Elizabeth Socolow, PSA Award Banquet, awarding Cecil Hemley Memorial Award to Friman's "Letter to the Children," which is collected in Inverted Fire

© 2020 by ALICE FRIMAN, Poet

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