Heart Strong, Volume 3 of Heart Suite
I am proud and overjoyed to announce the publication of my newest book of poems, Heart Strong, Selected Poems 2000-2012 by Estuary Press, now available in paperback and ebook formats. The release of this volume completes my trilogy Heart Suite presenting selections from my 43 years of poetic work begun with Heart Songs: 1969-1980 and then continued with “Heart’s Journey, Selected Poems 1980-1999.” I am glad to be caught up with the 21st century.
This book includes my most matured poems as well as many drawings extracted from my journals and dreams or drawn expressly for a particular poem to extend the poetic visions beyond words. The exquisite cover by Adrian Arias and the other paintings and photographs presented in the book are by artist friends. I am especially proud of Estuary Press’ production values, from the layout of the drawings and poems to the table of contents and the inclusion of endnotes to explain the historic context of the poems and their poetic form, for later generations of readers.
Jack Foley, literary critic and KPFA reviewer, said of Heart Strong:
“Nina Serrano’s poems in Heart Strong swirl in different directions. Her words and images tell the tale of a woman existing in the midst history – in an age in which, strangely enough, it seems absolutely necessary to affirm that one can feel love. How in the murderous twentieth/twenty-first century…can love exist at all? Heart Strong tells how it can exist, and flourish, and even – in the midst of horror both personal and historical– heal. A strong heart (a strong heart is the very basis of poetry) can be a weapon.”
Acclaimed poet and poetry editor & educator, Andreena Zawinsky said:
“Nina Serrano’s Heart Strong…moves us through a range of poems where some dream, others ponder life’s mysteries, still others read like indigenous parables; and in some we stare head-on with her and unflinchingly into the face of death. Many of the poems are narrative, others lyrical, sometimes meditative, still other inventive in form. We are often rooted in place as a stage for serious struggle for global social justice; and yet Serrano can delight as she “throws a ring around the moon” or “conjures a chorus of birds…quetzals of glory.” The poet cherishes life’s small moments, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary, as any real poet must.…”