Teatro Paraguas announces a book launch and poetry reading with Katherine DiBella Seluja, reading from her book Gather The Night, published by UNM Press (2018), at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. Teatro Paraguas is at 3205 Calle Marie in Santa Fe. Admission is free.
This debut collection reads like an elegy, not just for the author’s brother Lou, stricken with schizophrenia, but for all families affected by mental illness.
Through multiple personae and a variety of styles, Seluja offers a gritty authenticity and empathy to the subjects and themes. These poems grieve for a world of the lost while extending solace to those who remain and remember.
Winner of the Southwest Writers Poetry Award, Seluja is a nurse poet who transposes both personal and professional healthcare experiences into poetry and prose. She studied classical piano for 15 years in her childhood and adolescence and attributes much of the lyricism and rhythm in her writing to this early musical training.
Seluja holds degrees in nursing from both Columbia University and Yale University. As many of those working in health care know, our patients frequently become part of our own personal stories. She invites these stories to inform her writing and strives to reveal raw and powerful aspects of health and illness in poetic and lyrical forms.
Seluja is frequently inspired by her Italian heritage and migration stories that she heard as a child from her grandparents. She is working on a collaborative project with two other poets, Tina Carlson and Stella Reed. This project is in response to the 2016 presidential election.
Joining Seluja is Carlson, whose first book of poems, Ground, Wind, This Body, was published by University of New Mexico Press in March 2017. The book is a chronicle that winds through the wretchedness wrought by war and the deep, lifelong impression it leaves in the lives of a returning soldier’s children.
Carlson is a psychiatric healthcare provider and nurse practitioner who works with the homeless in Albuquerque. Her poems have appeared in many journals and blogs, including Dark Mountain Review, Watermelon Isotope, HERS, bosque (the magazine), Blue Mesa Review, New Mexico Mercury, American Journal of Nursing, and Nonbinary Review and her work has been anthologized in The Best of Kore Press 2012. She is working on a collaborative book with Seluja and Stella Reed as a response to the election results of 2016. She was featured in a ‘5 over 50’ article in the Nov/Dec 2017 issue of Poets and Writers.
This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry.