Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Review: Listening to Africa by Diane Raab

Price: $16.00
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9781936482184
Publisher: Antrim House
Release: April 18, 2012

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Poet Diana M. Raab travels to the heart of Africa with her family to experience the beauty and fascination of another world. During her safari, she observes the distress, the delight, and the dignity of the humans and animals who live there and parallels them with her own quest for health.

Listening to Africa's Reviews
“Diana M. Raab makes a pilgrimage from the 'familiar neon of home’ in America to Africa, bringing her family, her passion and her pen. Her moving words carry us with her in narrative poems re-plete with vision, humor and irony. In her inner and outer journey, the poet transforms fear and sadness into beauty and love as her heart opens 'in this place which will remind you of your reason for living.’”
- Susan Wooldridge
author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words

“Diana M. Raab takes us on a joyous poetic journey of words and photos. She juxtaposes her wisdom, essential wellness and depth of feeling in exploring four-legged friends, illness, and hope, making this an extremely powerful collection."
- Cara Nusinov
author of Unrequited Loves and Other French Kisses
My Review:
Honest and raw, beautiful and moving, Diana Raab takes us on a journey through Africa and all of it's primal horrors and beauty. She does not hold back, describing children that will have only "bribes of wellness" for medical care, a giraffe, grazing alone in a wide field, a balloon ride in the Namibian sky. These poems are about the essence of Africa, but also about her personal experience on the journey and throughout life. Her poetry dances and flows with witty rhythms and lyrical pictures. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.
About the Author:

Diana M. Raab is a memoirist, essayist and poet. She has a B.S. in Health Administration and Journalism, and an RN degree from Vanier College in Montreal, in addition to an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Spalding University’s Low-Residency Program.

Diana has been writing from an early age. As a child of two working parents, she spent a lot of time crafting letters and keeping a daily journal. A journaling advocate and educator, Diana teaches creative journaling and memoir in workshops around the country. She frequently speaks and writes about the healing powers of writing.

She’s the award-winning author of eight books, and the author of over 500 articles and poems. Her release is Writers on the Edge: 22 Writers Speak About Addiction and Depression, co-edited with James Brown, which is a compilation of essays by renowned writers discussing how addiction has influenced their literary lives. She is also editor of Writers and Their Notebooks, a collection of essays written by well-known writers who keep journals.

Raab is the author of two memoirs, Regina's Closet: Finding My Grandmother's Secret Journal, winner of the 2008 National Indie Excellence Award for Memoir and Healing With Words, the 2011 Mom's Choice Award Winner for Adult Nonfiction.

She is also a registered nurse who teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and at various writing workshops across the country. She is the author of four poetry collections, My Muse Undresses Me (2007); Dear Anais: My Life in Poems for You (2008), winner of The Reader Views Award and an Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award; The Guilt Gene (2009); and Listening to Africa (2012).

Her poetry and prose have appeared in national journals and anthologies such as Rattle, Rosebud, Litchfield Review, Tonopah Review, Writers' Journal, A Cafe in Space, the Toronto Quarterly, Common Ground Review, The Smoking Poet, Snail Mail Review, New Mirage Journal, Lucidity, Blood and Thunder, Jet Fuel Review, Ascent, and The Huffington Post.

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Cherie Reich said...

Lovely review! It looks like an inspiring collection of poetry.

Tribute Books said...

What a well-written review - precise and sharp - thanks Aubrie! :)

Unknown said...

Interesting to combine an African journey and music. I was a musician, too, and am a fan of African rhythm, which led to jazz.
Thanks for commenting on my blog. My goodness, you have written a lot of books! :-)