Vianka Santa, Director Centro Estatal de las artes (CEART) Tijuana, Mexico, reviewed this book of poetry. Here follows an excerpt and a link to the full review.
Oh, Where is My Candle Hat? is a trip down memory lane in four time spans offered by Gerda Govine Ituarte, through which we are led softly and quietly down the corridors of her life, or perhaps, of a life that runs parallel and is told in first person. This poetic journey is like a train that is taking the reader to unexpected places, that by way of stations, offer us the ability to hover in the provinces of her inner world. Read the full review.
Review by Carmen R. Tolivar
Your Candle Hat, having been found, lit my abundant visits to this poetry collection that begins with childhood memories where things are as pretty as they look and as ominous as the last line in Beneath Surface: "Beneath surface, Fissures!" Fissures proved abundant...I loved your haiku ways to capture the immigrant experience of a tropical girl arriving at Auntie's apartment in the Bronx; the direct exposure of fears rooted in family dynamics, threats, and societal evils like the Ku Klux Klan, when in Mississippi. Your courage brings to mind the Jane Hirschfield quote: "To write, a person has to take off her coat, shirt, and skin. I have to be unarmored." All of the above to suddenly push us into a chaotic, unsustainable pain caused by impending deaths, preparing the reader for the ultimate fissure with exquisite images of last days/hours of "flesh of my flesh ones." The world needs these tears.
Audience Responses at Readings
The readings seemed therapeutic for the presenter as well as the audience. How courageous to share such insights into the inner workings of the mind and the generation of feelings. Well done. . .I like your staccato style and the insights you shared were a revelation. Very brave.
Your poetry is very moving. I was delighted to be there.
Your poem about the homeless people -- so much richness there.
Thanks so much for the Beautiful book! We love it! Thank you for your gift of words and images.
"So beautiful - so sensitive - so perceptive. "