Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters

Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters

by Jackie Craven
Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters

Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters

by Jackie Craven


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In a kind of literary trompe l’oeil, Jackie Craven’s marvelous first full-length collection is ultimately about the invisible—and only sometimes benign—subterfuge beneath what appears authentic. Sassy or respectful, elegiac or terse, her poems give us a world paradoxically “dark and bright, strange, [yet] familiar.” Whether in the guise of investigating various particulars of creating art, or exploring the complicated emotional layers within human relationships, Craven reveals secrets, keeping me turning pages, wanting more of her fine work.

—Andrea Hollander, author of BLUE MISTAKEN FOR SKY

This book is a life, a collection of interwoven lives, revealed by imagination. It is a meditation on childhood, age, artistic vision, family and death. The language is crisp, inventive, and the poems brilliantly shaped, full of surprise and a sense of the finality of their form, which often seems like precise dramatic timing. And with this mastery of the art, a sense of lives grasped and held close. It is hard to believe that this is a first book, it is so wonderfully accomplished.

—Barry Goldensohn, author of SNAKE IN THE SPINE, WOLF IN THE HEART

Jackie Craven is a triple threat: her poems are visually acute, sonically gorgeous, and imaginatively transporting. She herself is a Master. Open anywhere, and you won’t want to stop. BUY. THIS. BOOK.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997955958
Publisher: Brick Road Poetry Press, Inc.
Publication date: 11/14/2018
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)

Table of Contents

Maroger’s Magic 13

Without the Lights and Shadows

Old Woman with Goose (30 x 24, Oil) 17

House Beautiful Designer Room #132 19

1962, Polaroid 20

Glass, Iron, Feathers 21

The Psychic Says 23

I Heard a River Downstairs 24

To My Tongue 25

Cocktails on the Patio, 1964 26

Tempest in a Paintbox 27

Growing Faster Than Swamp Bamboo, My Mother Liked to Say 28

The Strength of the Jelly

Carnival (Tempera on Cardboard) 31

The Absinthe Drinker (Egg Tempera & Oil) 32

Beware the Pearly Gates 33

My Grandmother Won’t Say Why She Jumped Off the Pier 34

Still Life with Stuffed Olive 35

Waiting for 5:00 at Bailey’s Pub (Ink & Charcoal) 36

Thirst 37

Flight (30 x 25, Oil on Canvas) 38

The Temperature Reaches 102 39

Mama, Just Go 41

Colors Distinguish Themselves

Secret Sister 45

Light Has a Solid and Opaque Appearance

Lobster for Lunch (21 x 30, Acrylic) 67

Girl Playing Paganini (Charcoal on Vellum) 68

Killing Mr. Big 69

Slugs 70

Woman Reflecting (Watercolor & Gouache) 71

A Lady on NPR Says Her Brain Has a Hole the Size of a Hollyhock 72

What the Monkey Says 73

Simulcast 74

Still Life with Oranges (22 x 18, Oil) 75

When the Last of Them Died

Perspective Dreaming 79

Southbound 80

After Hours of Driving, I Find It at the Bottom of a Cul-de-Sac 87

Stopping by the Columbarium on a Sunny Afternoon 88

Notes 91

Acknowledgments 93

About the Author 96

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