© Leesa Dean, 2020
 

THE DESERT OF ITABIRA

The Desert of Itabira (2020, above/ground press) is a 25 page excerpt from the longer novella in verse titled Manuelzinho.

This chapbook, like the novella, is a conceptual poetry project that re-imagines the life of the central subject of Elizabeth Bishop's 1952 poem bearing the same name. Think Magdalene by Marie Howe or even The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje but instead, the imagined subject is a Brazilian farmer/squatter/thief of telephone wires who spray paints his hat daily.

Order copies here or contact me if you are a bookseller in the Kootenays and want me to drop off copies.

I can’t wait to read the entire novella. The excerpt is mesmerizing. It evokes the desert paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe for me, extremely visual and startling: “We are taken to a red temple/a woman in a cloak of bones/greets us in a language/none of us know”. I am in love with the dark imagery of this work.

-Review by Amanda Earl