Friday, August 30, 2013

Fascinating, Powerful and Beautiful

James DiBenedetto, the author of Dream Student (and other books in this series) currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). I am honored that he posted this review for the audiobook edition of Twisted:

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Powerful and BeautifulAugust 30, 2013
This review is from: Twisted (Audible Audio Edition)
Uvi Poznansky's "Twisted" is collection of four short stories and a poem that, collectively, are very difficult to describe. Each of the four tales is "twisted" in its own way:

"I Am What I Am" is the story of Job's wife and her fight to rediscover her name; "The Hollow" is a very brief tale of perception and reality; "I, Woman" tells (possibly) a version of the story of Adam and Eve; and "The One Who Never Leaves" gives us the perspective of an apartment-dwelling cat.

The prose is both beautiful and powerful; the author (who is also an artist) paints with words as deftly as she might apply paint to a canvas, and with the same care and precision.

The stories themselves are all wonderful. I found the tale of Job's wife the most affecting, personally. The author mixes sly humor in as well, especially in "The One Who Never Leaves" and "I, Woman." All four stories are quite moving; the author has great command of emotion and uses it to full effect.

The narration, by voice artist Heather Jane Hogan, is every bit as good, and as powerful, as the prose. The narrator uses her voice expertly; the voice of each of the four stories is completely distinct, but never overpowering the words. She expertly conveys emotion and mood, and the way in which she voices several distinct characters (both male and female, human and otherwise) is amazing.

She's also, quite simply, a pleasure to listen to.

I could not recommend this work more highly; it is truly wonderful and not to be missed.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I plucked a wildflower

Written by my father, translated by me

I plucked a wildflower from my resting place   
And it was blue, as if it wore my name, my face   
But I was startled suddenly by a snake   
Who slinked across the path with one tail shake   
I plucked a wildflower from my grave, behind   
And in silence, my daughter came to mind   
Where are you now? The wave swept you away   
In a velvety evening, an eve of dew and ray   

I was penetrated by a pouring rain   
And for a moment, somehow, I felt alive again   
Sensing me, the worms began to rave   
I plucked a wildflower from my grave.   

And a chorus of crickets kicked off a singsong   
Climbing up the wall I danced away, so long!   
There's no death in life, no need to feel so sad,   
I would've come back already if it were all that bad   

There were a few I didn't know among the mourners    
I asked myself where they came from, what far corners    
The crowd was small, such pity! Some were sad   
To those who cried, I smiled and waved a tad.   

I left countless bills behind me, heavy debts   
Come over, I'll pay them back, you bet!   
I stare at you across the big divide   
With obvious advantage: no interest on this side 

Detail from the oil painting that is used for the cover of Home

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"HOME is an homage to her father... Poetry that's never been placed before the public until now"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Philosophical View of Love, Life and Family

Here is a great new review of Apart From Love:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Philosophical View of Love, Life and FamilyAugust 27, 2013
Warrior Princess (Karmoy, Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apart From Love (Kindle Edition)
A famous poet, translator, and philosopher Samuil Marshak once said that frequent use of highly emotional words robs them of their meaning, making them dull and lackluster, like an old coin losing its shine. And that's exactly what Anita, the young wife of Ben's aging father, says to her husband in the story:

"Just say something to me. Anything." And I thought, Any other word apart from Love, `cause that word is diluted, and no one knows what it really means, anyway.

Coming from uneducated Anita, who is a far cry from being a poet or a philosopher, this thought acquires an even more poignant and raw meaning. She is not trying to impress anyone, she is speaking her heart and her mind, trying to cope with the turmoil of her aging husband's fast decline and her growing attraction for his adult son Ben.

Emotions run high in this story by Uvi Poznansky, made even more prominent by her use of alternating points of view throughout different chapters. All the main characters get a voice and an opportunity to share their thoughts, desires, internal struggles, and guilt, just like Ben eloquently expresses in this passage as he is falling for Anita:

"...I should have been more careful...I am surrounded - and at the same time, isolated. I am alone. I am apart from Love."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What does home mean to you?

At the core, what does home mean to you? When you close your eyes, what image comes to mind? For me, the image that best captures the essence of this word was painted when I was ten years old. Outlined with simple pencil lines, brushed in a flat manner with Gouache paints, and perceived through a head-on perspective, this is a scene of the 'golden age' of my family:

Here we are, my father, mother and I, dancing the Twist (or at least, learning to do so) in unison. In the left corner you can spot the radio (set on an end table); in the right corner is a hanging lamp, on the wall over our head is a framed landscape, under our feet is a beautiful persian rug, the pillows on the red sofa seem to dance as well, or at least they are balanced on a point...  And most importantly, all three of us are feeling the same beat.  

This, to me, is not just a picture of home; it is a picture of happiness. It is what was lost in later years, when my parents separated.

Later in his life, when left alone in this space, my father painted it and through the walls he connected it to the memory of his childhood home.

You can see the same red sofa, the framed landscape, the Persian rug... But not a living soul. The place is empty, and he filled it but conjuring the image of his mother rocking the cradle.

Later still, when he passed away, this space transformed once again in my mind. The landscape faded away from its frame, and it is barely hanging, barely clinging to the wall. The designs on the Persian rug have faded out too. It has multiplied into layers of blank paper that are swaying under your feet. The lamp is not just hanging, it is swinging wildly, giving a rhythm to the gusts of wind that threaten to destroy this place. It has already kicked the end table (where my father would put his pen and notebook) upside down.

When my father passed away, I went back home for the traditional Shiva-a, the seven days period of mourning. Perhaps the grief did something to change the way I viewed things, or else it was sitting in that space--my childhood home--in a spot I rarely sat before, discovering it from a new angle, observing how light penetrated the far reaches of this place, how the furniture signified relationships in the family. I drew what I saw on a napkin; wiped my tears with it, and later discarded it.

Coming back to the states, I recreated that sketch from memory. In my new drawing I used a fish-eye perspective. What does that mean? Like regular perspective, the horizontal lines converge into a vantage point in the distance. But here is the difference: the vertical lines are not straight, nor are they parallel. 

As you look up, vertical lines converge to a point up there, beyond the edge of the paper. You can call it Heaven. And as you look down, the vertical lines converge to a point below, call it Hell. Which makes the entire perspective embrace you, as if you are in the middle of a fish bowl, seeing the world curve around you. And looking though such a perspective, what did I see? An earthquake, really, in the aftermath of my father's death. Books falling off the shelves; the lamp swinging like a pendulum; the little side table (in the front) overturned, so my father will never lay his pen upon it; and instead of the persian rugs that used to adorn this space once upon a time, I floated blank pages on the floor; pages he will never again use for writing. This will become the sketch for the cover of my poetry book, Home.

★ Inspired by poetry? Treat yourself a gift ★

"Absolutely Stunning!" "scenes of such exquisite depth and beauty"

A Proper Chat with Christoph

I feel so lucky to be invited for a second opportunity, this time for 'a proper chat' with Christoph Fischer is the talented author and highly ranked book reviewer. He also wished to display some of my art, so in addition to my book covers, I gave him a paper sculpture I made, upon which I painted the creation of the world. His first question was:

What fascinates me most about you is that you write, make art and promote yourself. How do you find the time and how do you balance the three?

Want to know my answer? Read it here: 
A Proper Chat

Friday, August 23, 2013

Superb? Unique? You decide

Good news occur in clusters... So one day after another, five star reviews keep coming in for Twisted.

The first of the two reviews is by Lynelle Clark has one of the most endearing sentences in her Goodreads author page. She says, "I am an Aspiring Writer and is still learning the art." But in addition to her book, A Pirate's Wife, she has garnered several top rankings: #4 top users, #4 top readers, #31 top librarians, #44 most followed, and #23 best reviewers. So I am deeply honored that she posted this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

5.0 out of 5 stars UniqueAugust 22, 2013
This review is from: Twisted (Kindle Edition)
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Reflections of women seeking their own identity and validation in a world that ignores, misjudge and scoff at them. Written from different view points, each poem has a unique setting, where each is confronted with their own self worth. To be validated. Poetic and honest each poem gives you a deeper look into the physic of her thoughts as she reach out. Sinister in its approach it comes to particular conclusions as their worlds are explored and revealed.
Twisted an interesting name that reveals more than you expected.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!August 23, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Twisted (Kindle Edition)
These are four exquisite stories in one volume that dare pull a reader outside of conventional boxes. A unique amalgamation of imagination, perspective, art, and discovery, Twisted leads a curious mind and seeking soul into the deep. Superb!

So happy! The audiobook edition of Home is finally here!

Wow! So happy! Just got this messsage, about the fourth one of my books to go audio:

Congratulations, Home is now on sale at And we plan to make it available on iTunes and within the next few days.

Check out the list of audiobooks, and don't forget to play the voice clip for each one! Take a listen, here:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cover Reveal: Home (the audiobook)

In this oil painting, which I used for the cover of the print edition of Home, I depicted a vision of the interior of where I grew up. The early sketches for the composition were done on a small note of paper on the first day of the Shiv-aa, the mourning period following my father's passing. By the time I came back home the note was lost, so I re-sketched it from memory. I prepared the canvas with a layer of textured bronze color, then worked the scene into it. 

It was extremely difficult to photograph this piece, because the layer of gold--which is exposed in places--reflected light in unpredictable ways. So I snapped a photograph of the painting in one room, then another, with diffused daylight coming from the side, the front, the top, with and without flash, then took it outside and snapped it in sunlight, in the shadow, here, there and everywhere... Yes, you get the picture.

At last I found one version that looked fine to me. First I had to fit the image to a prescribed size (according the book size I have in mind.) Then I created the shadows of the lettering. You may notice that the shadow's color is not black, but rather it is the darkest purple of the painting (which can be seen in the lower left corner.) Also, I blurred these shadows, so they do not have hard edges, but fuzzy ones. Then I selected a soft yellow, with which I typed the title, Home; and a less bright version of this yellow, with which I typed my name and my father's. Being brighter, the title 'comes forward' in relationship to the author names. 

Normally I would make sure that all text fields are of the same width, or that they are arranged in a way that the one on top has the shortest width, and the one at the bottom has the longest width, which creates a sense of stability. Not so here, because I view my childhood home through the shaky lens of memory...

For the audiobook cover I brightened the font color, so it stands out more over the painting. Also, because of the square dimensions I had to 'extend' the image of the painting to the right and to the left. And in addition to the authors' names, I added the name of the voice actress for the audiobook, Kathy Bell Denton.

★ Inspired by poetry? Treat yourself a gift ★

"The book overflows with some of the most eloquent poetic moments in print"

I worry about mom, about the little things

"She is looking out the window. 
Perhaps she is immersing herself in the grays and purples quivering there, on the other side of the glass, reaching a blur in the cold October sunlight. Perhaps, with great patience she is waiting there, waiting for the night, for the darkest hour, which is when her image may finally appear. It will come to the surface in front of her as if it were a sunken spirit, rising from the deep. Out of nowhere. 
For now she seems lost, searching for something—perhaps her reflection—in vain. 
I worry about mom, about the little things, which to someone else—someone who does not know her as I do—may seem trivial, insignificant. I worry she is missing her pearl earrings. I must find them for her. The little hole in her earlobe has shrunk away, turning somehow to flesh. 
In a whisper I say, “Mommy?” and wonder how the air vibrates over the tender membrane of her eardrum, how it changes into noise, how she gets it when pitch rises, when it falls. 
Can she sense the change? 
At what point does it translate, somehow, into meaning? By what path does it penetrate, going deeper? Does it excite the nerves, fire signals up there, between regions of her brain? Does it make some sense, at least at times? Is there any point in talking to her? Is she listening? Can she detect the thin sound—scratched like an old, overused vinyl record—which is coming faintly from behind, from the far end of this space? Can she understand the words? Is there sorrow in her? Is there hope?"

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family drama ★

 "A feast for the armchair psychologist. 
Reveals insights that can touch and frighten each of us"

Come Home with me!

Come Home with me! My ★★★★★ poetry book ♥ Home ♥ is coming out in an amazing audiobook edition! Join the Writing Contest, listen to my narrator's voice, be here for the cover reveal... And whatever you do, don't miss out!

Come HERE and join me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Opening Doors for Each Other

It's so wonderful when authors open doors for each other! Bathsheba Dailey, the author of Five Years Old Death, with whom I have recently visited King Judah's court, has just posted this article on her blog, in which she introduces me to her readers and fans. I am truly grateful!

Check it out here: Uvi Poznansky

Let it spin north and south

Round and round, all over town
So it goes, up and down...
You are my twisters; so wherever you are
spread my message, near and far
Let it spin north and south
'Cause all I can hope for is your word-of-mouth

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"In her potent style, Uvi Poznansky weaves mythology with modernity"