We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes is a title that promises poems of praise and uplift, but Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich presents beauty of surprising complexity. This beauty is hard won, in vivid poems of family, race, faith, and nature. In deep woods, the speaker of one poem sees the easily overlooked "Decorative/Tiny plants," and notes their "Confidence and/Perseverance." Another poem presents "[a] Sista's/ cautious brown eyes" as she looks after a group of young girls. Here is a poet to watch.
~Suzanne Cleary, author of Beauty Mark (BkMk Press-UMKC)
The poems in We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes illuminates the everyday experiences we all face and celebrates them in heartfelt narratives. Each poem unearths forms of truth that are often overlooked and need to be embraced in order to reach for a type of grace. A grace that steadies us all in order to survive.
~Kevin Pilkington, author of Where You Want To Be: New and Selected Poems
Sometimes poetry eases up on you like the morning. It creeps and takes its time to warm or heat your limbs with its rays of words and activity of images. This is what We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes, does: heats the reader, steadily and gradually with narrative grace, and vocal musicality. Twenty-one little flames, become a roaring sun of poems, that first wake us with questions. " What is age?-Tourniquet-? Clamping around my throat?" Then Rhodes-Ryabchich wretches the readers, asking not with questions, but with images that pinpoint sentiment, "Each year drops of blood pool/To a darker shade." These lines, from her poem "Age," which is dedicated to Sandra Bland, continues to seek answers for the senseless removal of Bland's premature death. Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich challenges the complexity of our moments, so we can bask in the grand warmth of our experiences. This chapbook is a wonderful accomplishment.
~F. Douglas Brown, author of Zero to Three (Winner of the 2013 Cave Canem
Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich has written a chapbook filled with a kaleidoscope of memories, imagination, and concrete images that is sure to surprise and delight. Dreams and fantasies mingle in this collage of poems. Despite the struggle for survival, there is laughter, and inspiration. Divinity lays not a small part in this collage of twenty-one poems that are filled with pride, dignity and hope. Indeed "We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes" and each poem here is unique and one of a kind.
~Sherry Reiter, PhD., LCSW, Director of The Creative Righting Center