Frida Kahlo in Fort Lauderdale Frida Kahlo in Fort Lauderdale

Frida Kahlo in Fort Lauderdale


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Publisher Description

Reimagining the iconic Mexican artist's life and relationships, Stephen Gibson's Frida Kahlo in Fort Lauderdale explores Kahlo's passions and pains through vivid persona poems. Realized entirely in a modified triolet form, the collection is essentially an ekphrastic epic inspired by the paintings, photos, and personal effects on display in a 2015 Fort Lauderdale exhibition. Gibson probes the artist's inner world, giving voice to Kahlo's desires, anguish, and defiant spirit. He conjures her crippling injuries from a bus accident, her tumultuous marriage to Diego Rivera, and her affairs with Leon Trotsky and others, all filtered through her fervent art. This innovative collection brings Frida Kahlo's singular vision to life in visceral contemporary verse.


In this book of incantations Stephen Gibson says, "What one loathes and desires can be the same thing," and those two strands weave through these poems like a double helix of beauty and repulsion. The trolley accident that impaled Kahlo comes up over and over, and each time there is a new layer added to the story in much the same way a painter adds layers to a portrait. These are poems, but they are also music and paintings that give the lucky reader a luminous vision of this woman who forged a life of beauty out of the wreck of her pain.

- Barbara Hamby, author of Holoholo

Frida Kahlo in Fort Lauderdale is composed entirely of triolets about the artist and her paintings. The overall effect is akin to pointillism: the collection's fifty-seven triolets blend in the reader's consciousness much as the tiny dots of various colors in a pointillist painting blend in a viewer's eye to form a coherent image. In this case, the image is of Frida Kahlo, the renowned Mexican painter known for her many portraits and self-portraits. Gibson-brilliant as always in his mastery of formal poetic structures-has crafted a portrait of Kahlo that reads as a single long poem, and yet resonates in the mind as something painterly, a shimmering, vibrant portrait of an artist.

- Edward Falco, author of Wolf Moon Blood Moon

These punchy little poems rat-a-tat the reader like a boxer's jab-cross-uppercut. The immediate subject is Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's bughouse marriage, but this is really a book for everyone. Even the happiest of married couples will react with some version of been there, done that. Divorce lawyers will get dollar signs in their eyes. Young singles will find Frida Kahlo in Fort Lauderdale a useful road map through the minefield of conjugal bliss. Mainly, though, these poems are for poetry lovers. They're smart, they're funny, and they sting like hell-they sting you in a way that makes you say, sting me again.

- David Kirby, author of Help Me, Information


Stephen Gibson's seventh poetry collection Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror won the Miller Williams Poetry Prize, selected by Billy Collins. Earlier collections have won the Donald Justice Prize, Idaho Prize for Poetry, and the MARGIE Book Prize. His poems have appeared in such journals as Able Muse, American Arts Quarterly, the American Journal of Poetry, Boulevard, Cimarron Review, Copper Nickel, Court Green, the Evansville Review, EPOCH, Field, the Gettysburg Review, the Hudson Review, the Iowa Review, J Journal, Measure, New England Review, Notre Dame Review, the Paris Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Quiddity, Raleigh Review, Salamander, the Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, Southern Poetry Review, the Southern Review, Southwest Review, Upstreet, the Yale Review, and elsewhere.

    Fiction & Literature
    February 16
    Able Muse Press

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    Discourse, Peace, and Conflict Discourse, Peace, and Conflict
    Pain, Emotion and Cognition Pain, Emotion and Cognition
    Cellular Telephones and Pagers (Enhanced Edition) Cellular Telephones and Pagers (Enhanced Edition)
    Paradise Paradise