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Under Memories of Stars

Natalie Marino’s chapbook Under Memories of Stars is a collection of lyric poems that use the symbolism of stars to represent what is unreachable but ever present. Involving California’s natural landscape, these poems speak about grief and love, the evolution of memory, and the transience of experience.

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Pencil with Eraser

Praise for Under Memories of Stars

In Under Memories of Stars, Natalie Marino weaves culture, family, and the loss of a mother into the shawls worn by strong generations of women who ground corn /and stories in night bowls. Tender, surreal, and incredibly present, Marino moves us into the beauty and loss of life where a slow sea turtle will let go of a dying star/in October, for yellow is the color everything/turns into. How can we not want to listen to the open mouths/of leaves and their windsong stories? How can we not appreciate that the sun bursts/into persimmons? These poems sparkle, each a meditation noticing the splendor in the world but with a poet’s touch. Marino is a bright new talent, and her poems shimmer throughout this book.

–Kelli Russell Agodon, Author of Dialogues with Rising Tides (Copper Canyon Press)

Natalie Marino’s chapbook Under Memories of Stars invites the reader into a world of rich imagery, high lyricism and a sense of love that permeates the collection. It begins with elegiac poems, but moves towards transcendence, with a speaker who finds an ability to express romantic love, familial love, and ultimately to learn from death a greater appreciation for life. The collection is sincerely rooted in the romantic backdrop of the California cliffs and seascapes, where sunsets, sunflowers, oranges and sand become metaphors for a changing but eternally lovely world and our connection to it and to one another. Above all, the stars weave their way through this collection, reminding us of something otherworldly and just out of reach that continuously reminds us of what is gone and what we have to remember and hold dear.

–Tresha Faye Haefner, Author of Take This Longing from Finishing Line Press

In this breathtaking first book, Natalie Marino’s voice is the tide that swells our understanding of human bonds, viewed through the lens of the natural world. In her masterful hand, “A sparrow dances like a star” while “the sun bursts / into persimmons” during a mother´s funeral. A plea to a lover to “come and dance” before “time folds itself inside / the black permanence of an empty yesterday” takes on a storm-like urgency. Akin to the most astonishing of conjurers, Marino has, through these poems, revealed boundless layers of stars, transformed them into symbols of loss, grief, wonder, and yes, hope. I dare anyone to read this book and not glitter in its galaxy.

–Julie Weiss, Author of The Places We Empty from Kelsay Books

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