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Gretchen Primack Return Engagement!
In her third collection of poems, Golden Notebook bookseller (and mom to Neville the bookstore dog) Gretchen Primack draws on more than a decade of experience teaching and administering in prison education programs. Written in fictional personas, these pieces bring us directly into the lives of people held behind bars, letting us experience the details of their daily realities. Written with deep empathy and sensitivity, the poems present prisoners not as statistics or cases but as individuals with names, hopes, regrets, and moving stories. As she did with the case for veganism in Kind, Primack stretches the boundaries of what poetry is usually asked to do, putting literature in the service of social justice without sacrificing any of the art.
"American prisons destroy people. They destroy those who live in them, and those who live outside them. The poems in Gretchen Primack's Visiting Days raise the voices of those who live within them and America needs to hear these voices. These poems contemplate, weep, wonder, and command. These poems bear names like Ismail, Jacob, and Deneice. They rise up from places like East Wing, The Box, and The Yard. Most importantly, these poems ring with empathy, urging us to see these people, as people. Where prisons destroy, these poems ignite the fire that poetry tends: the burn that makes us human." —Joseph Ross
Gretchen Primackis a poet and educator living in New York's Hudson Valley. She has taught and/or administrated with prison education programs (mostly college) for ten years.She is also an AMAZING book seller at The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY. She's the author of three poetry collections, Visiting Days (Willow Books), Kind (Post Traumatic Press), and Doris' Red Spaces (Mayapple Press), and a chapbook, The Slow Creaking of Planets (Finishing Line 2007). She co-wrote The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals with Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary co-founder Jenny Brown (Penguin Avery 2012). Her poetry publication credits include The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, FIELD, Poet Lore, The Massachusetts Review, The Antioch Review, New Orleans Review, Rhino, Tampa Review, and many others, and her work has been chosen for several anthologies, including Best New Poets 2006. Her poem "You Are a Prince," published in Ploughshares, was featured on PoetryDaily.org.