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6” x 9″
Paperback, 61 pages
ISBN 978-1-63381-334-2

by Lenice Cicchini
Author of The Last Will and Testament of Palmira Sei

The poems in The Black Guitar comprise a finely wrought medley of discord and harmony, of passion and loss. As much an evocation of the music of longing as it is the instrument itself, the image of the black guitar resonates and haunts. These poems are spiritual in the pure, Rilkean sense—the flight of spirits through the poet’s days.

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 In The Black Guitar Lenice Cicchini offers deep glimpses of what moves us—even as it disappears. Her art is one of great precision—words fully fledged yet wary yet vibrant—and musical in the sense of distinct notes sounding through an encompassing silence. The beautiful gravity of her poems is spiritual: Here are chants and benedictions. The voice that is raised in these poems dwells within us and without us.

—Baron Wormser

The Black Guitar—as omen, ghost, embodiment, mystery, memento mori, and surely art itself—is but one of the evocative images braided throughout this exquisitely well-tuned collection. In poems of sensory and linguistic alertness, the play of light and shadow, of connection and interruption, of utterance and silence—at one point “silence so heavy it was left where it fell”—multiplies meanings word by careful word and line by sculpted line. “Hallowed Be the devotion blues,” a line near its end, serves as apt summary and tuning fork for a book that makes of poetry a devotional space by way of Cicchini’s devotion to the craft of poetry.

—Jeanne Marie Beaumont


A native of Northern California, Lenice Cicchini currently lives with her husband at Hidden Springs Farm in Newbury,  Vermont.

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