Chris Baron

Lantern Tree

Lantern Tree: Four Books of Poems

Lantern Tree: Synopsis

The voices of four San Diego poets meet at a crossroads of poetic traditions to contemplate home––home as a sense of place and a sense of self, home as much outside as it is inside.

In this collaboration, the lyrical greets the ecstatic in free verse and form. The portrait, the narrative, and the muscle of language collide and reform. The poems lean against each other for support and weave the light and the dark in a quest for purpose, family, community and reason. Each poet responds to the beauty, the truth, and the ugliness found along the way.

The Four Books

Under the Broom Tree: Chris Baron was born and raised in a Jewish family of eccentric artists. His upbringing in a home where nude models were commonplace left little room for innocence. His adulthood offered a rediscovery of the self and a making of his own journeys as an athlete, a husband, a traveler, and a father. His search for a transformed self has forced him to walk a physical and spiritual path confronting the truth of his beliefs set against the strong pull of family history and cultural heritage. These poems tell this story.

Bills of Lading: Heather Eudy has truck driver blood. Her work, embedded in journey, reaches out and explores space, gender, and the life of the spirit. Her poems are portraits, moments photographed in the compression of language. The book is a receipt of goods upon transfer, a bill of lading, an interminable longing, an attempt at understanding what it is to be human–our suffering, our family histories, our desire, our sex, our searching.

A Book of Ugly Things: Cali Linfor, born with a genetic disability, is freed from the standards of beauty. Or at least she looks at them asymmetrically. Living in a place of such prettiness has brought out a celebration of ugly things. The plain, the overlooked, horrified and the rotting are captured and turned over in the hands. The poems explore the commonalities of repulsion and the habit of making beautiful what is not. She confronts the conflation of pleasure and terror, grief and joy. The lilt of language, natural and unnatural beauty, brutality, the untouchable, and unseen kaleidoscope in this book.

Pacific Standard Time: Sabrina Youmans looks to language to explore and transcend self. Her regional poetry is both delicate and fierce as she seeks to understand the nature and purpose of love, beauty and loss. She grapples with the uncertain as she pursues comfort and balance in nature. In the process her forgotten spiritual past uproots and reveals that what she seeks in others and in objects already surrounds her, opening the self again in breath and in noticing. Her vibrant images are paired with relaxed metrical forms that reveal lacuna—the gaps that shape her as whole.

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