Spanning The Years:
Reviews & Excerpts
An EBONY Bookshelf Selection.
Praise for award-winning poet/writer/actress,
Juanita Torrence-Thompson’s first full-length poetry book Spanning
“Whether a child building a snowman with
her uncle or an adult traveling to China with her mother, the
speaker of these little narratives faithfully records those tender
moments others often cast aside. Celebrating friends, family,
and extended family, Juanita Torrence-Thompson’s poems are a refreshing
antidote to those of a self-centered generation.”
— Rochelle Ratner, Executive
Editor, American Book Review; Editor, Bearing Life
“Juanita Torrence-Thompson gives us the
gift of herself, her life as a wife and mother and as an African-American.
Here are the details of the daily life of a woman and the connections
that tie her to everyone she meets.”
— Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Editor, Paterson
Author, Where I Come From
Newsday (New York)
“In an eclectic collection of 72 poems, Torrence-Thompson
shares slices of her life as a wife, mother of a son...and as
an African American.... In other pieces, Torrence-Thompson, a
world traveler, writes about her memories of Tiananmen Square
in Beijing and the Lillehammer Olympics. Her poetry also harks
back to treasured “Sundays with Grandma and Grandpa,“
her honeymoon in Hong Kong and a visit to Windsor Castle in England.”
— Merle English, Staff Writer
Westside Gazette (Florida)
“A smart, neat-looking poetry collection, Spanning the Years
is a treasure. It studies the personal, but includes the universal.
In examining her life, she brings in all those near and dear...as
well as others she has met along the way.”
New York Trend
Review of Juanita Torrence-Thompson’s poetry reading at Logos
Bookstore (New York City)
“...the poet charmed those gathered with an animated reading
style of wonderful selections from her work. The cozy and informal
setting made for an enjoyable hour.... My favorite was “Shadows
in China,“ a sestina in which lines end with recurring words,
because of the imagery of rain, shadows, darkness and being lost
in streets of an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar country....The
final poem...”My Heart is a Harp,“ was simply beautiful.
The forthcoming poems proved that Ms. Torrence-Thompson is a poet
to watch, whose future poetry volumes I eagerly await.”
— James Keller
Excerpts of poems from Spanning The Years
(Torderwarz Publishing Company):
SHADOWS IN CHINA
...We wander along foreign streets
Getting wet from the pelting rain
Eyes stinging from pollution in Beijing
Even our tall, elusive shadows
Seem friendly in the dark
Keep us company while we’re lost...
SNOWMAN MEMORIES IN MASSACHUSETTS
Come on peanut, Bobby says
Let’s make that snowman
Before it gets too cold
He shows me how
to make a firm, round snowball
then roll it down the hill
‘till it’s gigantic
We do the same for the chest
Only it’s a little smaller
Bobby and I lift it together
and place it atop his torso....
...For camp activities, I wrote plays
For the kids to perform.
When I wrote
“How Detective Sherman Caught the Kidnappers,”
The kids, as usual, got stagefright.
So I changed clothes,
performed their parts,
Including Detective Sherman.
I wore a man’s suit and a mustache.
I was allergic to the mustache glue
And broke out in a rash.
DAD AND THE 4TH OF JULY
...For years Dad had watched sports
I’d had no interest
until this day in Falmouth
Dad and I both liked tennis
Watched underdog Jimmy Connors
Way to go, Jimmy
You can do it
I shouted at the TV
Dad laughed his deep throaty laugh
Our eyes connected....
Spanning the Years poetry excerpts Copyright ©1996, 2011 by Juanita Torrence-Thompson
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