Under Brushstrokes

Poems by Hedy Habra

under-brushstrokesUnder Brushstrokes is an astonishing collection of poems responding to art. Through Habra’s accomplished pen, these ekphrastic poems create an immediate world of rich textures and image, giving the reader intimate access to such diverse talents as Klimt, Guccione, Bosch, Tanning, and Hokusai. She explores the stages of art — from thought to modeling to canvas — revealing the layered connections between the individual and art itself. These are poems of depth and skill, of beauty and paradox, of “words suffused / in linseed oil,” as Habra writes — a marvel of a work.
— Sam Rasnake, Editor, Blue Fifth Review

In the poem “Brushstrokes,” Hedy Habra writes “the painter raises inexorably the level of the waters, and the woman knows . . . she will only be fulfilled by drowning in the torrent.” The poems, in verse and prose, in Habra’s new collection, Under Brushstrokes, pay homage to the transformative power of art in the most authentic way possible — by demonstrating it.
— Stuart Dybek, author of Ecstatic Cahoots and Paper Lantern

The poems in Hedy Habra’s Under Brushstrokes amount to something more sweeping than simple ekphrasis. She makes no attempt to describe works of art, but instead uses them as points of departure for explorations of the dreaming psyche. The resulting meditations, often adopting the genre of prose poetry, retain the colorful imagery we expect in visual art, expressed in a language as precise as it is vivid.
— Alfred Corn, author of Tables

Hedy Habra’s Under Brushstrokes is a rich tapestry of images, sounds and meanings. Like any tapestry the complexity of weaving, the craft and artistry are often under or subliminal to the larger images, and in this way the book lives up to its title in that there is so much foundation that goes into the building of an image and giving the image not only meanings but breath and life itself. Enjoy Under Brushstrokes, it is meant to be read and read again.
— J.P. Dancing Bear, Editor, The American Poetry Journal

Press 53
Publication: September, 2015
Price $14.95
Paperback, 106 pages.
ISBN: 978-1-941209-23-3
Available at: http://www.press53.com/BioHedyHabra.html

Hedy Habra was born in Egypt and is of Lebanese origin. She is the author of Tea in Heliopolis, winner of the 2014 USA Best Book Award for Poetry and finalist for the International Book Award for Poetry. Her collection of short fiction, Flying Carpets, won a 2013 Arab American National Book Award’s Honorable Mention, and was finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award and the USA Best Book Award. Her book of literary criticism, Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa, explores the visual and interartistic elements in the Peruvian novelist’s characters’ interiority. She has an M.A. and an M.F.A. in English and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish literature, all from Western Michigan University, where she currently teaches and received the All-University Research and Creative Scholar Award and a Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship Award. She is a recipient of the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award and was finalist for the Pablo Neruda Award. She writes poetry and fiction in French, Spanish, and English and has numerous poems and short stories in journals and anthologies.

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