my verse, book review by Bill Nevins

Book Review by Bill Nevins

my verse,

a collection of poetry and photography
poetry by Katrina K Guarascio
photography by Shawna Cory


Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014
69 pages, paperback
swimmingwithelephants.com

This book cures mental fascism.

Katrina Guarascio, the beloved Ms. G of Rio Rancho Public Schools’ Cleveland High School was let go by that notorious school administration and she made local and now national headlines. The reason: Guarascio encouraged her students to write creatively and freely. After all, she was hired to teach Creative Writing. But the school district decided that when one of the students updated the Biblical tale of The Loaves and Fishes, that was just too much for their Common Core Standardized Testing curriculum to bear.

my-verse-cover
So, the RRPS administration in their wisdom demanded that Guarascio either apologize on behalf of her students and promise never to encourage them to be creative again . . . or leave their employ.

Gurascio split. What else could any self respecting teacher who cares for the free minds of her students do?

She refused to bow to the fascist demand that there are some thoughts which cannot be expressed even in writing class. There are some thoughts which cannot even be thought.

The thought, as expressed by her student, that Jesus might actually have tried to help the poor, seems to have been one of those thoughts banned by the troglodytes of the the Rio Rancho Public Schools Administration.

No, Guarascio preferred to breathe the free air of America and to leave the stifling, choking atmosphere of this Christian Taliban school administation. And she encouraged her students, her charges, to fly free too.

They have been flying free. They have flown on Facebook, on television, in print, and beyond, praising their teacher and castigating the mind-numbing thugs who pretend to be school administrators in the school district that Intel Corp built and bought.

Read this book. It is the free, sexy, mind-liberating voice of Katrina K Guarascio, perhaps New Mexico’s finest mind and sharpest poet. Turn to page 23 (“I am not one/to sit and wait/for tides to change”) and see what I mean.

Word Up. Don’t Shoot. Let Us, and Our Children Breathe.

–Bill Nevins

Find my verse, on Amazon.com, Bookworks Albuquerque, or local Swimming with Elephants Events.

Now Available: my verse, by Katrina K Guarascio & Shawna Cory

CoverA new collection of poetry and photography by Shawna Cory and Katrina K Guarascio, entitled my verse, has been released from Swimming with Elephants Publications.

Find this new collection on Amazon or CreateSpace

Learn more about this unique collaboration of art and verse by reading an except from the foreword, penned by Swimming with Elephants Publication author Jessica Helen Lopez.

An except from the forward:

When one woman creates we know this as spell casting.  When one or more of these female titans get together with the intent to produce art we call this act of goddess: splitting cells.  Lord help us all if they begin to shed clothes, vulnerabilities, secrets, traumas, and metaphors that bounce like agitated atoms.  This is the naked truth shook loose from words and physical form. This is poet Katrina K Guarascio and photographer Shawna Cory when they decided to comingle and author a book. 

my verse smallNow they say two women together cannot produce life, that zygote cannot be created without the gamete being fertilized by the sperm. They say fertilization is impossible without the ovum and the spermatozoa.  However, I dare any reader to peruse these pages and not feel that a milagro has taken place.  The whole world quaked when Katrina coupled with the indubitable photographer Shawna to birth the photopoetic collection that is, my verse.  Okay, maybe not the whole world, but I swear to you I felt tremors beneath my feet the first time I opened up the first drafts of the document on my laptop. The book itself is a more than adequate balance between written imagery and the image. The poems take the reader on a sojourn into the topography of modern womanhood and the photos serve to fill in the flesh of the land.  This is important work and it should be seen by all.  I have high hopes that it will.

Coming Soon: my verse, by Katrina K Guarascio & Shawna Cory

CoverA new collection of poetry and photography by Shawna Cory and Katrina K Guarascio, entitled my verse, will be released in February 2014 from Swimming with Elephants Publications.

Learn more about this unique upcoming collaboration of art and verse by reading an except from the foreword, penned by Swimming with Elephants Publication author Jessica Helen Lopez.

An except from the forward:

When one woman creates we know this as spell casting.  When one or more of these female titans get together with the intent to produce art we call this act of goddess: splitting cells.  Lord help us all if they begin to shed clothes, vulnerabilities, secrets, traumas, and metaphors that bounce like agitated atoms.  This is the naked truth shook loose from words and physical form. This is poet Katrina K Guarascio and photographer Shawna Cory when they decided to comingle and author a book. 

my verse smallNow they say two women together cannot produce life, that zygote cannot be created without the gamete being fertilized by the sperm. They say fertilization is impossible without the ovum and the spermatozoa.  However, I dare any reader to peruse these pages and not feel that a milagro has taken place.  The whole world quaked when Katrina coupled with the indubitable photographer Shawna to birth the photopoetic collection that is, my verse.  Okay, maybe not the whole world, but I swear to you I felt tremors beneath my feet the first time I opened up the first drafts of the document on my laptop. The book itself is a more than adequate balance between written imagery and the image. The poems take the reader on a sojourn into the topography of modern womanhood and the photos serve to fill in the flesh of the land.  This is important work and it should be seen by all.  I have high hopes that it will.

Stay tuned for the future release of this exciting new publication.