Tripping the Light Ekphrastic
Author: Ronnie Hess
Publisher: Kelsay Books (2022)
"Poet Ronnie Hess is also an accomplished ballroom dancer, art connoisseur, journalist, and cook, so it makes sense that her chapbook springing from the visual arts in our lives should be titled Tripping the Light Ekphrastic and Other Inspirations. Emerging from these poems crafted in a variety of forms is a trenchant commentary on our culture and history. Expect to meet a knowledgeable mind, warm heart, inventive imagination, and an expressive twist!"
"Devotees of the well-made ekphrastic poem—a poem deeply immersed in the visual arts—are about to discover another expert practitioner. Ronnie Hess’ new poetry collection includes her takes on an impressive variety of paintings. Yet it’s the addition of Hess’s own layer of descriptive imagery that lifts these works of art to a new level, even beyond the boundaries of the canvas."
–Marilyn L. Taylor
"Whether proposing a happier ending to Romeo and Juliet, exposing a clownishly bad waiter, celebrating a loathed cockroach, or contemplating war and extinction, these poems embrace, with grace, tenderness, and love, 'this fractured terrified world.' Often inspired by paintings, the poems are themselves painterly, a poetry of exquisite sensory keenness, which fills the stories Hess tells simultaneously with zest and sorrow, and makes us aware, at even the simplest moments, of the eternal tug of war between life and death. If you want to be 'dazzled, showered in rapture,' you need go no further than this dazzling, rapturous book."