Book Review: baltimore girls by Lynne Viti

baltimore girls by Lynne Viti, Copyright © 2017 by Lynne Viti
Finishing Line Press, P.O. Box 1626, Georgetown, Kentucky 40324

This slim collection of poems (19 total), by Baltimore native Lynne Viti, is bursting with bittersweet memories-turned-life lessons and hard-won wisdom. Evoking a bygone-Baltimore that any City native (Black or White) who came of age in the ‘60s will surely recognize, Ms. Viti serves up the essence of growing up female—in Baltimore or Anytown, USA—in bite-sized vignettes. If you survived your teenage angst, dreamed big, loved and lost, outgrew your heroes, and lived to tell, you will recognize your own life journey in the pages of this volume.

Over the past year, Lynne Viti and I have become friends who have yet to meet in person. We are both Word Press bloggers and, having sampled each other’s works, we discovered that we have much in common. Most obvious is the fact that we are both native Baltimoreans. We also are both poets (Lynne has widely published her work, while I have not), with similar writing styles.

Thus, when Lynne sent me an email inviting me to preorder this new book, I was excited, honored, and humbled that she wanted me to be among its first readers.

As the scheduled release date came and went, I sent Lynne a note asking when my copy might arrive in the mail. Just two days later, the book arrived, and as soon as I was able to carve out some quiet time, I opened the book and began to read.

In the very first poem, “Salad Days,” the fourth line jumped out at me: “plaid kilts, blouses with Peter Pan collars, and circle pins”—and I laughed out loud as I suddenly remembered the “uniform” of my own going-to-a-teen-party days! Indeed, my mother still has the circle pin I borrowed from her in her jewelry drawer. As I kept reading, deeper, more tender—and yes, bittersweet—memories enveloped me. When I finished the book, I hugged it to my chest and smiled.

 

Update:

To order a copy of baltimore girls, please contact Lynne directly by emailing her at lviti@wellesley.edu. The book costs $13.99 plus $1.67 for postage, and can be paid for by check or via Paypal. Proceeds will be divided between Mercy High School, Baltimore, and Epiphany School, Boston’s scholarship funds—both worthy faith-based schools that serve urban students.

You can find Lynne Viti’s blog at stillinschool.wordpress.com

 

April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate by writing your own poems and reading the works of other poets!

 

 


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