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“Ratto Parks’ work is contemplative and original […] Brilliant, at once dense and ethereal; rewards multiple readings.”
Praise For Radial Bloom
"RADIAL BLOOM is unlike any book I've ever read—shimmering with ghosts, rich with empathy, and alive with the possibilities of love and loss. This adroit slip of a book will haunt me for a long time, and I'm so grateful for the haunting."
~ Sharma Shields, author of The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac
"In this verse novel, we follow the bewitching journey of a woman whose life becomes entangled with a visiting ghost. Befriended, loved, and borrowed for his wounds, we traverse, prayer by prayer, along “the ridgelines, the movement of the stars.” Amy Ratto Parks bestows unto us a body of “thin air,” which is, “any air we fall through,” where hellish muses, gifts, and otherworldly forces may come before us, troubled and far from sin. In a world teeming with familiar devastations, charted and uncharted, Radial Bloom is a body of dreams, “blowing smoke into the cold night, blowing…like rescue…like love… [like] the long bell of evening.” As we descend below waters, we are astonished that somewhere in a field of honeysuckle lives a song moored in our hearts—a song of wrought paradise, “throwing knives, throwing knives into trees.”
~ Khaty Xiong, author of Poor Anima
"What if the Muse arrives "all biceps and brawn...in a leather jacket of disinterest," holding a golden gun he puts to your heart? In this potent fever-dream of a conceit, Amy Ratto-Parks not only radicalizes the paradigm, she enacts the brutal consequences, both existential and quotidian, of responding to the call. Classically speaking Radial Bloom is a descent, an urgent journey into the interior that is never top-heavy--imagine Julian of Norwich, Baudelaire, and John Wayne sitting at the bar with Dante pouring shots--and is impossible to put down."
~ Chris Dombrowski, author of Body of Water
"The remaking of the self—be it through mania, depression, obsession, or heartache—can be an otherworldly experience, rendered here in Radial Bloom as a cinematic and transcendent act. For those of us tucked safely into a life that has been domesticated by a partner or children, there is the tendency to wonder where that person we were before has disappeared to. We wonder not about long-gone pleasures, but about longing itself, a kind of yearning that attended and sustained us for years with its sweet, familiar pain. The answer is that it’s all still there, inside us, like it’s always been. A lingering ache in the gut, a punch that still reverberates like distant thunder on a cloudless day. Amy Ratto Parks is the antidote to the part of us that reflexively dismisses our more complicated selves. This book is her big middle class, mid-life, multi-layered, mommy middle finger raised high, and I will follow it anywhere, especially right off this safe little cliff I’ve been perched on for years."
~ Keetje Kuipers, author of The Keys to the Jail
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