Celebrating a Tapestry of Life
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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 The Years:

“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 Literary Review
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):


...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...


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.


...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
at Wimbledon

Way to go, Jimmy
You can do it

I shouted at the TV

Dad laughed his deep throaty laugh
Our eyes connected....

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